Fourth of July Safety

1. Leave your Pets at Home during the festivities.

Fireworks are loud and scary for pets. Combine that with the amount of people at parks, in parking lots, and the amount of cars it could easily be an overwhelming experience. Even dogs that are not afraid of fireworks or people could easily get lost or off their leash in the crazy after-firework mob and get lots in the dark.

2. Confine your pet to a secure, stress-free environment. 

If you dog is crate trained, or if you cat has a favorite closet, letting them relax in those spaces is best for them. Do not leave your dog or cat outside while you and your family leave to watch the fireworks – the nose may scare them and they could easily get lost or run away due to fear.

3. Keep pets away from the alcohol – beer, wine and spirits are toxic to pets.

If you will be unable to watch your pet keeping them away from the festivities is your best bet. Signs of poisoning include weakness, depression, difficulty breathing, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or in severe cases, coma or death from respiratory failure.

4. Keep your pet away from the food. 

If you are having a BBQ and you have a pet that actively begs for food, or is a counter surfer it may be best to have them away from the party until the food is put away. Too many fatty table scraps can cause indigestion, and pancreatitis. Cooked bones, and corn on the cob can cause gastrointestinal blockages. Other items such as garlic, onion, mushrooms, sweets, chocolate, grapes, raisins and baked goods (with xylitol) are all poisonous.

5. Keep those glow sticks, and glowin

g jewelry away from your pet!

If you have a pet that likes to chew, they could easily end up with gastrointestinal irritation or an obstruction from eating one of those pretty glowing objects.

6. Make sure your pet has his/her collar, and microchip – and that the information is up-to-date. That way if something happens, you at least have a way to get your pet back to you.

7. Keep the lighter fluid and matches you will be using for your BBQ out of reach of your pet! 

Lighter fluid is a skin irritant, and if ingested can cause gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression, and pneumonia. Some matches contain chlorates, which, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing or blood cell damage in pets.

8. If you pet has sparse fur, or a lighter-colored nose (like some Australian Shepherds), having your pet wear sunscreen may be a good idea.

Select a sunscreen that does NOT have Zinc oxide as an ingredient – if ingested it can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. A good sunscreen found at a department store will not contain Zinc oxide, be safe for use in infants, be fragrance-free, non-staining, and contains UVA and UVB barriers similar to SPF 15 or SPF 30 for humans. Do not use a sunscreen that is labeled “toxic if ingested” most pets try to lick or ingest sunscreen when placed on their skin. Epi-Pet makes a dog sunscreen that can be found on their website.

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