Fourth of July Safety Tips
For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family-including the four-legged members of the household. Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe while enjoying the festivities.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following:
- Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.
- Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.
- Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach.
- Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea.
- Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it.
- Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach.
- 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.
- 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.
Hot Weather Safety Tips
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
“During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,” says Dr. Murray. “Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions.” Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Courtesy of Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe. Reprinted from the ASPCA website.