Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

As much as we all enjoy watching the “big lights go boom” in the sky  every Fourth of July, our pets aren’t always thrilled with independence day  activities.

Courtesy of our friends over at the ASPCA, here  are some great products and tips to keep your  pets calm and safe during  the Independence day activities and prevent them from  becoming one of  the thousands of missing “July 4th doggies” that are  traumatized every  year by fireworks and other scary noises (…like Uncle Frank  at the  Karaoke machine, etc.).

1. 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.

2. Do not 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.

3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could  potentially  damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even  kidney  disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if  ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous  system  depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and  breathing  problems could develop.

4. Keep your pets on their normal diet.  Any change, even  for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion  and diarrhea. This is  particularly true for older animals who have more  delicate digestive systems  and nutritional requirements. And keep in  mind that foods such as onions,  chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes &  raisins, salt and yeast dough can all  be potentially toxic to companion  animals.

5. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is 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.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

7. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

8. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

9. Keep ‘em Calm: Consider calming your pet with a homeopathic calming remedy, available over the counter at most natural pet stores or the new Thundershirt, which features a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. If your pet has severe anxiety with loud noises, you might consider consulting with your veterinarian for other options.

Please pass these tips on to any new pet parents you might know, to make sure they understand how to best prepare their pup or kitten for the holiday weekend and feel free to leave a comment with other tips you have found helpful. Happy Fourth!

 By Janet McCulley, Animal Planet

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