Take a moment to consider your pets while putting the finishing touches on your holiday celebration. The American Humane Association reports that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. They become inundated with pets that panicked at the noise of firecrackers and fled into the night, winding up lost, injured or killed.”
Follow these simple tips to ensure a safe holiday for the whole family.
Keep your Pet Indoors – 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.
Insect Repellents and Sunscreens – Don’t use repellents on your pet that aren’t specifically for pet use. The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals.
Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets.
Fireworks – 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 may make your beloved pet desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer heat stroke.
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.
Have Your Pet Properly Identified – 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.
Glow Jewelry – It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
Food and Drink – You may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like 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. 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.
Lighter Fluid and Matches – 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.