The Fourth of July is right around the corner and the first thing that comes to my mind is PET SAFETY! Now we all are pretty smart people. We know it’s probably not the best idea to leave our Labrador out in the back yard to watch over the burger, grilling over the BBQ while we go in to greet guests. With that in mind, I wanted to call one of Portland’s top veterinarian hospitals to get some insight on what kind of injuries they historically see over a typical 4th of July holiday. I was lucky enough to talk with Ron Morgan, CEO of Dove Lewis, who offered a wealth of knowledge.
To start with I learned the 4th of July is usually their busiest weekend. People have BBQs and people over; kids feed the dog their leftovers, the dog gets into the garbage that’s left out. That’s an emergency trip my friend! Dove Lewis see’s just as many eating related issues over the 4th as they do any other holiday, including Christmas. Ron told me that many of the injuries they see are from pets that were running scared and hit by a car. Many, surprisingly, are from dog fights. Sometimes a normally great natured dog can become aggressive when they are terrified from the all the commotion. Well-meaning owners sometimes leave their pet access to the second story of their homes with a screened window open and sadly come home to find their pet when through that screen and end up at Dove Lewis. They see dogs for jumping through glass doors, over fences and just anywhere to get away from the chaos. The point here is many things can happen and we need to be smart for our pets. We need to put ourselves in their shoes (paws). Here’s what they see. All of a sudden there is a crowd, a lot of people, a lot of scary confusing noise, flashing lights and strange smells – and they are scared! They don’t understand and they aren’t having any fun!
What can you do? Keep your pets inside. If your cat is an outside cat, trust me it will thank you. If you are going to a fireworks show, leave you dog at home. Leave the TV or radio on to help drown out the noise. Ron say’s talk to your vet. In many cases they can prescribe over the counter drugs over the phone for you or you can call your local holistic pet center for a natural calming remedy. I talked with Monique at Holistic Pet in Clackamas, Ore. who suggested looking for one with Natural remedy containing Valerian Root.
Here’s a quick check list:
- If you leave your pets inside – Make sure the windows are closed. Again – many a pet has been injured and lost by going through a screen.
- If you must take your dog with you, be sure it is leashed.
- Make sure you pet has ID or is micro-chipped in case it gets out or lost.
- Avoid feeding your pets food that isn’t a part of their normal diet.
- I’m just going to toss this one out there – Maybe this year you think about your pets and forgo the fireworks. It’s just a thought!
Have a save and happy 4th!