Fourth of July Safety Tips

With the warmer summer months come road trips, parties and cookouts, and the 4th of July. Our furry kids can join us in the fun and festivities, just make sure you take the right precautions.

Fireworks, Crowds, and Loud Noises

  • Most cats and dogs are not fans of loud noises, big bangs, and crowds of people. At certain times of year, they can’t be avoided. Offering your baby a closed room, with a bed, food and water can be a safe, low-stress refuge for them. You can use a Thundershirt® and DAP® or Feliway® spray and/or diffuser to help lower anxiety. Playing soft music in the background can drown out loud noises and booms.
  • Keep your pets inside during the nights that fireworks are being set off. This can keep them from becoming scared and running off looking for a safe place and also keep them out of harm’s way.
  • Unused fireworks themselves can be toxic to pets. They contain chemicals that can be harmful in many different ways. The severity of vomiting, bloody diarrhea and a painful abdomen depend on the amount consumed. Keep unused fireworks away from curious noses and mouths.
  • If your baby is overly anxious, talk to your vet regarding a mild sedative to help keep them calm through these festivities.

Grillin’ Goodies

  • The onset of warm weather also brings more people outside to grill, especially around holidays like the 4th of July. Savory meat (i.e. hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks, and bratwurst) may not be toxic to pets, but they can cause anything from mild G.I. upset like vomiting or diarrhea, to extreme cases of pancreatitis (which can be deadly). Keep your furry friends intake of grilled food to a bare minimum, preferably none at all.
  • Corn-on-the-cob can also pose a threat to your pet. As delicious as it may seem going down, it may not come back up or move on out. Cobs can get stuck in the GI tract causing a blockage that will require surgery and if not dealt with in a timely manner can be life threatening.
  • Any deserts made with a sugar-free sweetener might contain xylitol. This can be extremely harmful to your fur babies, causing vomiting, elevation in heart rate and blood pressure, and tremors. Do not share any of the sweets you may love with your pet!
  • Alcoholic beverages should be avoided as well. Our four-legged friends are not made to digest alcohol, and can contract alcohol poisoning very quickly. Alcohol consumption can also cause bloating and the stomach to twist.
  • Any dishes containing onion, grapes, or garlic need to be kept up and away from curious noses. These ingredients are toxic to pets; if ingested can destroy your pets red blood cells, causing anemia and G.I. tract upset. If your baby consumes any of these, contact your vet immediately.

Other Safety Tips

  • If you take your family to the beach and decide to bring along your furry friends, always keep fresh water available to them and try to keep them from drinking any form of salt water. If large amounts of salt water are ingested, hypernatremia (elevated salt level) can occur. If your pet drinks any amount of salt water, contact a veterinarian immediately.
  • Pool chemicals are also toxic to pets, so keep any chemicals up and out of reach.
  • If you need to use sunscreen or insect repellant on your pet, always make sure it is “pet friendly.” DO NOT use people repellants or sunscreens because they can contain insecticides that are toxic to animals.
  • Citronella based products are irritating toxins to pets. They can cause severe respiratory illnesses and if ingested, severe gastric upset.
  • Make sure that your four-legged baby has I.D. tags and/or a microchip with updated and correct information. Keep this on them at all times!