Fido and Fireworks Don’t Mix: Keep your pets safe over the July 4 holiday
Loud, crowded events with fireworks are no fun for pets. Fireworks and thunderstorms are the best known causes for pet anxiety so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day Festivities. Instead, keep your pets safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home, and take special precautions:
- Make sure your pets are placed in a comfortable area that is separate from any party activities.
- When possible, refrain from keeping them outside, and move them indoors with you.
- Make sure they have plenty of water and are comfortable.
- In the event of serious anxiety, consult with your vet prior to loud events, and ask about anti-anxiety medication and other methods for calming anxious pets.
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.
Make sure your pet has proper identification. This includes an ID tag on the collar and microchip, making sure your microchip registration information is current. In the case they do get spooked and bolt for an open door or gate, an ID tag and microchip will be imperative to getting them home safely. Next to spay and neuter, microchipping is the most effective means for preventing pet homelessness.
Beware of alcohol! Many pets can be drawn to glasses of beer or liquor that has been left behind after the celebration is over. Consumption of alcohol can be highly dangerous for animals, and even deadly. Always keep a close eye on them, and never give them any alcohol as a treat or joke.
Glow is a no! 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.
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.
The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center provides advice to pet owners about poison exposures. Consultations are provided by licensed veterinarians trained in toxicology and Board-Certified Veterinary Toxicologists. The Center is a resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 4-ANI-HELP or (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.