While Fourth of July celebrations can be quite enjoyable and exciting for us humans, for animals it can be quite stressing and even hazardous to their health and well-being. Fireworks, backyard cookouts, alcoholic beverages, mosquito repellant candles, lighters, matches and ‘glow’ jewelry are all part of the holiday fun…again, for humans, not for pets. In fact, all of these things pose as stress triggers, toxic agents and health hazards to our beloved 4-legged family members. To help keep your pets safe this Fourth of July holiday, browse through the following Fourth of July safety tips for pets.
Pets Don’t Do Fireworks – While crowds, loud noises and bright lights excite us humans, it has the exact opposite affect on our pets, and causes quite a bit of stress. Don’t bring your dog or cat to the fireworks shows, and, instead, ensure that your pet has the comfort of a quiet, sheltered area of your home, hotel room or vacation RV, while all those bright lights and loud explosions are going on.
Alcohol is Poison to Pets – If you’re hosting a Fourth of July party, and serving alcoholic drinks, please remind your guests to be mindful of where they place their cocktails. Alcohol is poison to pets! It causes respiratory depression, weakness and intoxication, that can result in coma and even death. So, please…keep those alcoholic drinks on tables and counters, and not lying on ground level, where pets are easily able to access and drink them.
No Sunscreen – No Insect Repellant – While we think we might be protecting our pets from too much sun exposure, and lather them up with some of our sunscreen, sunscreen made for human use is actually quite toxic to pets. And, the same goes for trying to protect our pets from mosquitoes, by spraying them with insect repellant meant for human use only. Ingestion and absorption through the skin of sunscreen and insect repellant products meant for human use only, can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, , excessive thirst and lethargy in pets. To protect your pets from sunburn and bugs, ONLY use sunscreens and insect repellants meant that are specifically formulated and safe for animal use.
Keep Those Citronella Products Out of Pets Reach – Just as with sunscreens and insect repellants, citronella-based candles, coils and other products, are very toxic to pets. Ingestion of citronella can cause severe digestive disruption, nervous system depression and, if inhaled, the oils can cause aspiration pneumonia. Don’t ever apply any product that contains citronella on your pet, and keep all candles, coils and other citronella products safely out of your pet’s reach.
Keep Fireworks, Matches and Lighters AWAY From Pets – Preferably, you are heeding the first safety tip, and your pet is safe and secure in a quiet area of your home, hotel or RV, during the lighting and watching of fireworks. Exposure to fireworks can cause severe burns and trauma to pets, just as with humans, and ingestion of used fireworks debris can cause extremely harmful system damage due to the hazardous chemicals contained in fireworks, as well as potentially fatal intestinal blockage. Don’t think it can’t or won’t happen to you. Please secure your pets in a safe area away from any fireworks activity.
Matches contain chlorates, which damage blood cells, can cause difficulty breathing, and in some cases, even cause kidney damage. Lighter fluid is very irritating to skin, and, if ingested, can cause severe digestive disturbances and nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, it can cause breathing problems as well as aspiration pneumonia.
No ‘Glow’ Necklaces for Your Pet – ‘Glow’ type jewelry is quite popular these days, and come in necklace, bracelet and stick varieties. While they are generally safe for use, this doesn’t mean that you should adorn Fido or Fluffy with a ‘glow’ necklace. If ingested, in whole or in part, it can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, as well as potentially fatal intestinal blockage, so keep them these items off, and away, from your pets.
Have a fun and safe 4th of July holiday, and remember to be vigilant in keeping your pets safe from all of the potential holiday hazards.
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews