The big holiday is right around the corner, and we know how exciting and fun things can get…especially in Central Oregon. According to Travel and Leisure, we are in the Top 10 Best Places for Celebrating the Fourth of July, According to Yelp. “This is the Fourth of July destination for Americans who love hiking and beer.”
And even outside of hiking a beer, we have several activities, parties, events and bike rides that get the city going on this day of red, white and blue. But with all these shenanigans comes the need for safety – let’s keep ourselves, our kids and our dogs out of harm’s way this Thursday.
According to the Red Cross, “the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
The weather isn’t looking particularly hot this coming holiday, but it’s important to remember that we live in a desert and things can get extra heated when you’re drinking and running in the sun with your friends.
Signs for heat stroke can “include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.”
1. Hot cars can be deadly. Do not leave your children or pets in your vehicle while you enjoy the 4th of July activities. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fluids. We like to follow the “one glass of water, one glass of beer” rule.
3. Keep and eye on friends and family. If someone looks overheated, bring them a glass of water. Or even better, coconut water.
4. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays, which should be easy on a day ruled by red, white and blue.
5. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water. Which brings us to…
Your dog might not like fireworks, loud noises and Freedom Rides as much as you do. This might be the kind of day you decide to leave your furry friends at home. You may feel guilty for not bringing them to the BBQ or watching the firework show with them, but we can bet that they’ll be thankful to have a nice bed at home and some water to make them feel cozy.
1. Watch out for signs. It won’t be too difficult to identify if your dog is scared. “Shivering, shaking, panting, salivating, yawning and trying to hide are some of those indications. Frightened dogs may also lick their lips repeatedly or get stiff.”
2. Don’t try to desensitize. The idea that you can get your dog used to bright flashes and loud pops of fireworks sounds good, but takes a lot of time (and can traumatize in the process). This takes weeks or months, not one day, according to USA Today.
3. Music can help calm your little companion. Canines’ sense of hearing can be multiple times sharper than humans. Fireworks that are far away may seem like they won’t cause stress, but they still can. Throwing on some music – recommendations include classical or reggae – can block out some of the intrusive sounds.
4. Thundershirts can help your pup feel safe. These are compression wraps that soothe by applying a gentle pressure.
*Our recommendation…leave your dog at home with some classical music, their favorite toy and a comfy, cozy blanket while you enjoy all Central Oregon’s festivities.
The Fourth of July is a wild a good time. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself and others while you celebrate independence.