For many of us, nothing beats celebrating the 4th of July in our backyards with family and friends. Your pet can probably sense your excitement, but there’s a good chance your dog or cat is scared of fireworks.
Noisy fireworks can scare pets and cause them to run away. Holiday foods can be unhealthy, and potentially dangerous debris from fireworks, glow sticks and sparklers can end up lying on the ground where pets can ingest them. Not a good thing.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips that will help keep your pets safe and reduce their stress level this 4th of July.
Cookouts are for Hot Dogs, Not… Dogs
Pet parents are often focused on the more obvious seasonal pet safety issues, like fireworks, but Fourth of July dog safety tips do not end there. Many pet parents may overlook the backyard BBQ, a particularly dangerous Fourth of July activity for pets. If you plan to have your pooch in the backyard when you fire up the grill with your friends and family, keep these hidden hazards in mind:
The danger is not just from heat and smoke. In fact, a grill can be dangerous before it’s even lit–lighter fluid and matches are hazardous for your pet. The ASPCA points out that many matches contain chlorates. If your pup eats them, it can damage blood cells and cause breathing problems or, in the worst cases, kidney disease. Lighter fluid, on the other hand, is an irritant that can irritate the skin on the outside and can irritate sensitive organs on the inside too. If a pet ingests lighter fluid, it can cause significant stomach irritation, central nervous system depression, and other issues should they vomit. Even inhalation of the fumes can cause breathing problems.
A cocktail or beer can be a festive and relaxing way to enjoy the holiday, but that drink is a potential poison for your dog. If left low enough, a pet looking to quench their thirst could get into your beverage. Alcoholic intoxication in pets can result in weakness, depression, coma, respiratory failure, and even death. This is true even for beer, so keep the cold ones out of reach!
Pets need a consistent diet. Changes can cause messy stomach troubles. Certain foods that commonly accompany celebrations, like chocolate, onions, and avocados, can be toxic to your four-legged friend. Resist the urge to give them any BBQ scraps, even for the “special occasion.”
Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal 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.
Don’t apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
Bottom Line: Resist the urge to take pets to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
The Safe Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Pooch, Indoors and Out, by Melanie Monteiro
The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats, by Amy Shojai
General Pet Safety
St. Petersburg Communities
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.