The unofficial start to summer is coming up and, with all the fun things bound to come, we’d like to revisit some safety reminders when it comes to pets and summertime celebrations.
Is your pet a social butterfly or wallflower? Either way, there are a few things you want to ensure before guests arrive. Get the serious stuff out of the way beforehand by alerting guests to the rules about pet interactions before the visit. Give your pet some one-on-one attention between preparations. On the day of the fiesta, she needs a quiet place she knows she can go to for a break. Know her body language so you can pick up on when she is becoming stressed, over-excited, or overwhelmed. Containment is also very important and it can be stressful as you’re greeting guests to be ensuring or putting your faith in every person that s/he is closing doors and gates behind her. It may be easiest and safest to contain your pet to a single area until guests have finished arriving.
I love fireworks! Always have. Unfortunately I am mom to a dog who is terrified of them. Please, never bring your pet to a fireworks show. I don’t often use the words “always” or “never.” I find them extreme. But I make an exception for fireworks and here’s why:
- Fireworks shows are extremely crowded and hectic. That alone can put many dogs on edge and lead to unfortunate consequences like a nip or slipping out of a collar. You’re there to enjoy yourself and keeping a constant eye on your pup takes away from that and your dog doesn’t gain by being with you.
- The noise level of fireworks is loud enough for humans; it can physically hurt dogs, whose sense of hearing is far stronger than ours.
- You may be denied entry. It’s true, many fireworks shows prohibit dogs and, after parking the car what seems like miles away and lugging your chairs to the viewing area, you may be sent packing.
Lots of other species don’t care for fireworks either and if you live where they can be heard, you can try soothing their alarm by ensuring their “safe places” are accessible. My girl feels safest behind the couch so I make sure it is pulled out from the wall a little bit extra before the show begins. For mild stress, being tuckered out before the event may help because their exhaustion trumps stress so try some pre-fireworks playtime or walk. Playing music, staying calm, and natural or pharmaceutical calming agents may also be helpful. Often, it is a combination of these options that works best so you’ll have to experiment until you find the right mix for your pet. We also recommend ensuring your pet has current ID on them in case something happens and they bolt.
What pet doesn’t love some BBQ?! But beware, there are lots of unhealthy snacks pets can get their paws on during parties. Cooked bones have long been known to be a no-no because they can splinter. A worrisome number of companies are now using a product called Xylitol, a sugar substitute, in their products and this ingredient is deadly for cats, dogs, and other species. Toxicity can occur even in a low dose so be sure to check labels, even on things like peanut butter. It’s also commonly used in sugar-free recipes. Give your guests a head’s up on the rules of what can (if anything) and can’t be shared with pets and if you are concerned, even the slightest, it’d be safest to give your pet a comfy place to hang out away from the party with a special, species-appropriate meal.
Parties and pets can certainly go hand in hand but precautions are recommended to ensure a good time for all. SFYC can help in many ways, such as an extended walk the day of an event or administering a calming aid that requires application in advance of the event so they’re ready to par-tay by the time you get home (medical waiver required). Contact us to discuss how we can help!