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4th of July Pet Fun and Safety

dog_cat_flagThe 4th of July is right around the corner. As you plan for you long weekend, BBQ and fireworks, make sure to plan for your pet too.

Here are tips to keep your pets safe on the holiday weekend.

  • Keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations. I know that it is fun to put FiFi in the car and bring her to the BBQ. But with all the noise and activity this can be more upsetting than fun for your pet. Better to leave them at home.
  • Keep your pets inside.  Fireworks are loud and can be frightening to your pet. Keep your pet in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure. You can even block out some of the sound by turning on soothing music or the television.
  • Quell anxiety. If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with your pet, speaking soothingly to help them to relax.
  • Avoid table scraps from the grill. The sauce from the BBQ and spices can upset their stomach. If you do give them scraps, make sure not to give them things like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic .
  • Watch for chemicals. Avoid spraying your pet with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system, if ingested. If you dog does ingest lighter fluid, call your vet immediately!
  • No Alcohol! Alcoholic drinks can poison pets. If ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases. If your pet drinks an alcoholic beverage, call your vet immediately!
  • Do not decorate your pet. It is fun to be festive, but it can be dangerous to your pet. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. The contents of the jewelry is not highly toxic. However, it can cause some serious stomach upset and the if the plastic is consumed it can lead to more serious gastrointestinal issues.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Fireworks are very toxic. Keep any fireworks out of the reach of your pets. If your pet eats some fireworks, call your vet immediately.

Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

Most importantly stay safe and have fun!

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