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July 1, 2021

Pet Safety Tips for Independence Day

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – July 1, 2021

Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic located in Orange Park, is urging animal owners to take a few simple actions to keep pets safe and sound this Fourth of July.

“Independence Day can be an enjoyable and fun time with family and friends cooking outdoors and enjoying fireworks, but a traumatic and even hazardous experience for pets. Blaring noises, new sights and smells can stress and scare pets, causing them to run away and get lost. Fourth of July celebrations and cookouts can also introduce animals to drinks and foods that can cause severe sickness,” said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. "By following these few easy tips, pet owners can ensure their pets are protected and happy this Independence Day."

Dr. Broadhurst recommends four tips to keep pets well over the Fourth of July holiday:

  1. Provide a relaxed, peaceful space for animals: Although parties, picnics and fireworks are entertaining for humans, many pets do not want to participate in these activities, and oftentimes these activities stress pets out. The strange noises can alarm pets, causing them to run away. Before the fireworks and celebrations begin, make sure to give your pet lots of exercise. This will help the pet remain calm once the celebrations start. Once the parties begin, place pets in a serene, safe place, such as a crate or bathroom with no windows. Provide your pet with water, food, treats, toys and a comfortable sleeping area to relax in.  

    Before the holiday arrives, register your animal’s microchips with your updated contact information. If your pet flees, animals with accurate identification are much more likely to return home.
  2. Personal use fireworks can harm animals: Though at home fireworks can be fun for family and friends, they are not fun for pets. Rockets and sparklers can severely burn animals. Make sure pets are indoors when these items are in use. After the celebration is over, clean up all used and unused items to prevent pets from accidently consuming them, choking on them or becoming sick.
  3. Avoid alcohol and food poisoning: The smell of grilled foods and sweet drinks may entice your animals, but they can be harmful for pets. Alcoholic beverages can poison or kill pets, so keep these drinks out of reach. Foods like onions, garlic and grapes are toxic to animals. Keep food covered and out of reach when not being consumed. Secure pets away from hot grills. Intrigued dogs and cats may burn themselves trying to access the food on the grill. Cookout materials like lighters, matches and coal should also be kept away from pets.
  4. Know where to go in case of emergency. Research emergency vet clinics near you in case your pet is injured or ingests something harmful. Additionally, make sure you make a list of what to do if your pet goes missing or you find a lost pet.

If your pet goes missing or you find a lost pet, call the local shelter in your county:

Learn More About Clay Humane

Clay Humane is a nonprofit animal welfare organization offering spay / neuter surgeries and other veterinary care at substantially reduced rates. Located in Orange Park, Fla., the clinic also offers humane education, pet behavioral counseling, pet therapy, wildlife protection and disaster preparation and response. Established in 1978, Clay Humane relies on grants, donations and fundraisers to operate and is committed to providing care to animals throughout Florida’s First Coast.

Media Contact:

Michelle Gilliam
(904) 485-6597

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