This post is sponsored by Ceva Animal Health, the maker of Vectra® 3D, ADAPTIL® for dogs and FELIWAY® And Catego® for Cats

It's the season for patriotic parties, beach bashes and barbecues! Lots of families like to incorporate their pets into celebrations, but it does require some extra diligence. Here are our tips for keeping your furry friends safe this summer.

Pet Safety for the Festive Family

Adaptil collar on dog

Help Your Pet Relax

Just like adults often reach for a beer to unwind at a potluck, pets confronted with unfamiliar situations can use a little de-stressor of their own. We use ADAPTIL® collars and the ADAPTIL® Travel Spray for Kraken. They send out an odorless pheromone – only perceivable by dogs – to provide a signal of security and comfort similar to what mother dogs emit after birthing a litter.

Dog comfort item

Take a Familiar Comfort Item

Many kids tote a blanky or stuffed animal around with them. Animals aren't unlike children, needing frequent reassurance that they're safe and signals that they're cared for. We try to keep a sharp eye on Kraken at busy events. If he shows signs of stress such as pinning his ears back or whining, bringing his comfort item out can go a long way to help him feel more at ease.

Dog on beach on 4th of July with toddler

Bring Flea Treatments Up to Date

If you're traveling with your pet or spending a lot of time outdoors, they're bound to be exposed to all sorts of pesky bugs. I've mentioned before that our vet recommends Vectra® 3D for dogs to protect against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mites, biting flies and lice (excluding mange mites). For the cats, we use Catego® for Cats. Never use bug sprays meant for humans on a pet, as it can be toxic for them.

German Shepherd hiding under trailer

Provide Safe Spaces, and Manage the Microchip

When Kraken is overwhelmed, he instantly dashes off to a dark corner. His favorite hiding spot when we're at the beach is under our trailer (which is why we always double and triple-check before moving it). If your pet doesn't have a routine for busy party days, try to offer them a designated space to decompress. You may want to keep them leashed entirely – a lot of pets tend to get spooked by fireworks and dash away. Make sure they're microchipped and that the microchip information is current, as well. It's also a good idea to keep a current photo of your pet on-hand, just in case they go missing and you need help searching for them.

German Shepherd on 4th of July

Be Mindful of Seemingly-Harmless Holiday Dangers

Sparklers, poppers, chocolate and kabobs from the potluck are all hazards for pets who may inadvertently consume them. Make sure that guests don't feed your pet treats from the table and that barbecue grills are covered and up where pets can't stumble into them. You should also be mindful of common human concerns on a hot day, too, such as dehydration and overheating. Provide shade and lots of water for your pups just like you do for your people.

Cats in a cluttered room

Make Indoor Pets Comfortable, too

Even indoor animals have been known to escape when they're startled by loud fireworks. Especially during this season when people are in and out and the home tends to be in a bit of disarray, doors get left open and cats get distressed. We actually recently rescued the skinny cat above from a shelter where she'd been placed after being neglected by a hoarder, so we're particularly aware that clutter and erratic scheduling is a stressor for her.

Cat sniffing Feliway diffuser

We do our best to keep our space streamlined so the cats have a comfortable space, and we make sure that all of our windows and patio doors are securely sealed. We also use FELIWAY® for our cats, which is very similar to ADAPTIL® for dogs. Both FELIWAY® and ADAPTIL® have a diffuser option that works like a charm at home, plugging into the wall to provide a reassuring environment. We refill ours monthly, and the space where ours is plugged in has quickly become the cats' favorite area of the house!

What are your plans for 4th of July? Do you have plans in place to keep your pets from getting spooked by fireworks?