The 4th of July is a time to have fun with friends and family, and our furry friends are part of that fun. You might be tempted to bring your pets to watch fireworks or give them yummy treats from the grill. But fireworks and festive foods can potentially be harmful for pets. What can you do to make sure you and your pets have a good time and stay safe? Here’s a few tips from the ASPCA:
Keep pets away from alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can potentially poison pets. They can make them very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or induce a coma. Death from respiratory failure can happen in severe cases.
Don’t use sunscreen or insect repellant on animals. Ingesting sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Insect repellants can cause neurological problems.
Keep them away from matches. Some matches contain chlorates, which can damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can irritate their skin, and can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression if ingested.
Keep your pets on their normal diet. Changing your pet’s diet even one time can give them severe indigestion and diarrhea. And older animals have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to your animals.
Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. If your pets ingest the luminescent substance in these products it won’t kill them, but excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still occur.
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
Never use fireworks around pets! Lit fireworks can cause severe burns, and ingesting unused fireworks have obvious health risks. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Don’t bring pets to large crowded fireworks displays. If you attend a large fireworks display, don’t give into bringing your pets. Leave them home to keep them from the noise. If they do become scared from the fireworks in the neighborhood, at least they’ll be inside and safe from running away.
Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape. And keep your pets’ IDs up to date! Not only tag and ID outdoor, animals, but indoor pets as well. Indoor pets can escape, so make sure you can find them more easily.