We want to include our pets in every aspect of our lives, and for some, that means letting them join in holiday festivities. However, it is important to keep your pet's safety in mind when letting them celebrate. Here are some helpful guidelines to keep your furry friends safe this Fourth of July!
If traveling with your pet, be sure to bring vaccination records, dog license information, and a photo of the pet. Owners of pets impounded in other counties or states will likely be required to show proof of Rabies vaccines and a license before the dog can be released. Having these things on hand will expedite the return process.
It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.
The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans, can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to both dogs and cats.
The safest place for your pet is at home, not a crowded, unfamiliar, and noisy place. Combining too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet very anxious and desperate to seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and a heat stroke.
If your pet manages to break loose, it will be much harder to get them back without proper identification. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also helpful to always have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.
It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”
While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.
If you are having a backyard barbecue, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt, and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.
The ASPCA lists chlorinates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested.
Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.