Follow these tips to keep your pet safe this Independence Day:
1. Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times!
More Pets are lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year. 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.
2. Don’t Put Insect Repellant or Sunscreen on Your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use
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.
3. Alcoholic Drinks Poison Pets
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 dogs and cats.
4. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home
The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke. Leave them in a secured, quiet area or leave music or the TV on.
5. Be Prepared if Your Pet Does Escape
If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.
6. Keep Your Pet Away from Glow Jewelry
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 ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”
7. NEVER Use Fireworks Around Pets
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.
8. Don’t Give Your Pet “Table Food”
If you are having a backyard barbeque, 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. Keep some pet treats on hand for guests who want to offer your pet a treat.
9. Lighter Fluid and Matches Are Harmful to Pets
The ASPCA lists chlorates 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. Hot grills are also dangerous to curious pets, keep them entertained away from the flames.
Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellants 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.