Kingstonist’s Wizard of Paws: Pets and Canada Day

Of course we want to include our furry companions in our Canada Day celebrations, but there are many things to look out for to ensure your pets enjoys the festivities — Fireworks, large crowds, and the foods we love to enjoy can prove problematic for our four-legged friends. Photo by Alicia Jones.

Canada Day is just around the corner! But before you celebrate all that is truly Canadian, let’s take a moment to make sure that our pets are taken care of. Canada Day can be a very difficult time for pets for a number of reasons.

For starters, fireworks are a traditional part of the holiday celebration. But often they are the worst part of the whole day for pets. If your cat or dog isn’t bothered by fireworks, consider yourself lucky. Massive amounts of stress or anxiety can be brought on by the noise. Some pets may become destructive in the home, or start to behave quite differently towards people, and some may even run away. If you know or think your pet is affected, talk to your veterinarian about some possible anti-anxiety medications or mild sedation for the day. It’s also a great idea to make sure your pet’s microchip info is up to date in case they get lost.

Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? Though your pets might enjoy it in the moment, it can be replaced by illness later on. They may not be able to tolerate the same foods that we can. Upset stomach, diarrhea, or a foreign body may all become part of a bigger problem for your pet. The best advice I can give it to keep them on their own food. At a minimum, avoid anything fatty, covered in sauce, or with a bone — it’s just not worth the risk.

Heat wave! Temperatures are already climbing. For many pets, the heat is already bad enough, but for some breeds of cats and dogs the summer temperature can make things worse. If your pets will be outside with you, make sure to take extra precautions, such as wading pools, cool coats, and fans, or consider keeping them indoors during the hottest part of the day.

Have a great, safe weekend celebrating Canada with your family and pets! And if your pets are going to get in on the festivities, make sure they’ve got some sweet Canada-themed swag for them!

Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with two cats, two dogs, two horses, and a rabbit. Dr. Llera also contributes writing to various other animal and veterinary related blogs. You can find more of his writing at, or see what else he is up to on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Disclaimer: All columns are personally written and my opinion, and may not necessarily reflect those of current or former employers.

If there’s something you’ve often wondered or questions you have about regarding pets, let us know by email at [email protected].

*Please note that specific medical questions about your pet cannot be addressed and you should speak with your personal veterinarian

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