Saint Francis Animal Hospital provides affordable veterinary care to all owned pets in the surrounding Jacksonville area. Locally founded and inspired, we are a non-profit organization that treats all of our patients with quality, tender healthcare.
St. Francis Animal Hospital
WILL BE OPEN JULY 4:
8:30am – 5pm
Fourth of July is a fun summer holiday for most people, but for many animals, it’s a nightmare. The booming fireworks, festivals and company coming and going make this holiday particularly difficult for our pets. According to Petfinder, more pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. It doesn’t have to be that way if you are aware of the problems that may occur and plan in advance.
Here are 10 tips to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July.
1. Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times!
It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.
While your pet is inside your home, here are some additional things you should do to keep your pet safe and stress-free:
- If possible, walk your dog before dark before all the Fourth of July festivities begin. Exercising your dog will help reduce their stress level.
- It’s a good idea to have a quiet, safe spot for your pet away from all the commotion. Put your pet in a quiet room with comfy bedding or a crate, a litter box if your pet is a cat, a few toys and some “white noise” in the form of a radio or TV playing in the background to muffle the sounds of fireworks.
- Consider some other calming methods such as a Thundershirt, Rescue Remedy or medications for stress or anxiety. And be sure to suit up your pet or provide medication before the fireworks start.
2. Have Your Pet Properly Identified
If your pet manages to escape and become lost, without proper identification it can be harder to get them back. Consider having your pet microchipped, have them wear ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs to search for your lost pet. St. Francis Animal Hospital offers discounted microchipping for only $25 and there is no microchip registration fee. Please contact us at 904-674-7223 to get your pet microchipped before July 4th!
3. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home
The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will frighten and stress your pet – and this may make them try to escape this terrifying environment. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.
4. Don’t Put Insect Repellant on Your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use
The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
5. Alcoholic Drinks Are Poisonous to Pets
If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are both poisonous to dogs and cats.
6. Keep Your Pet Away from Glow Jewelry
Glow jewelry is very popular and it might look cute to put it on your pet, but your pet could chew and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”
7. NEVER Use Fireworks Around Pets
While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.
8. Don’t Give Your Pet “Table Food”
If you are having a backyard barbeque, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.
9. Lighter Fluid and Matches Are Harmful to Pets.
The ASPCA lists chlorates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested.
10. Citronella Insect Control Products Harm Pets, Too.
Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellants are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.
The safest and best bet for celebrating this Fourth of July with your pets is to exclude them from holiday festivities. Instead, find a safe, secure spot in the home for your pets while you go out and enjoy the loud bangs, bright lights and spectator fun. Your pets will appreciate the quiet and you will be able to enjoy the festivities knowing your pet is safe at home.
The attacking dog grabbed and shook Lucky, causing an abdominal wall hernia (his stomach and spleen were protruding through the abdominal wall) which required emergency surgery to save his life.
Lucky’s family was not only dealing with grief from the loss of Scrappy, but they were faced with medical costs for Lucky that they couldn’t afford. Thanks to donors like you, Lucky was able to get the surgery he needed to save his life. Lucky is now back at home recovering and his family is so grateful to have their sweet baby home. Lucky’s brother Cujo is also happy to have his buddy back home.