The 4th of July is upon us and it’s a wonderful time time to have fun with friends and family, including our pets.  As this is a festive time, we need to keep in mind the sensitivities of the animals in our care. There’s loud noises and foods that can pose a hazard to them. What can you do to make sure you and your pets have a good time and stay safe? Here’s a few tips:

Keep pets away from alcohol. Alcohol is not meant to be consumed by pets.  They don’t know where the limit is. So it’s understandable that alcoholic can be harmful to pets. Drinks can make your pets very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed,  induce a coma or even cause death in extreme cases.

Don’t use sunscreen or insect repellant on animals. Pets can lick sunscreen or repellant from their fur. Ingesting sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Insect repellants can also cause neurological problems.

Keep them away from matches. Matches are bad for pets, and some matches contain chlorates, which can damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can also irritate their skin, and irritate their gastrointestinal and central nervous system.

Keep your pets on their normal diet. Don’t change your pet’s diet just because it’s a holiday. Pet’s still need their normal diet routine. If you change their diet, it can give them severe indigestion and diarrhea. This especially goes for older animals. Especially keep them away from onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough as they can be potentially toxic to your pets.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil away. Ingesting these 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! This should just go without saying, but you should make sure they aren’t around the fireworks when you light them. And make sure you clean up used fireworks, as 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.

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