On the Fourth of July, we may celebrate independence, but don’t give your pets the freedom to do whatever they want for this summer holiday! From potential toxins to hazards and dangers, it’s important for pet parents to have a plan to keep pets safe from these Fourth of July pet dangers!
On a hot and humid day, keep pets inside as much as possible! Help them stay cool with fresh water, DIY frozen treats, and air conditioning or fans. DO NOT leave pets in the car or heavily exercise dogs outside. While spending any amount of time outside, monitor pets closely, especially if you have a higher risk pet. If your pet is overheating, learn what to do here. You can also find more heat safety tips here!
If curious pets get too close, fireworks and sparklers can cause burns, respiratory irritation from smoke, and toxic ingestion (from the fireworks, empty canisters, matches, or lighter fluid). If you are lighting fireworks or sparklers, keep pets inside and thoroughly clean the area before letting your pet outside again.
The biggest concern with fireworks is how pets react to them. Pets with noise anxiety may run off during a fireworks display, jump over fences, or even chew through window screens. For this reason, we recommend that your pets wear collars with ID tags and be microchipped. To help anxious pets stay safe, we advise keeping pets in a crate or escape-proof room with ambient noise like a TV, music, or white noise machine. Find more tips here. But please DO NOT give pets any human medications without first consulting your family veterinarian to avoid an accidental overdose or exposure to a toxic medication.
3. Glow Jewelry
Glow jewelry and glow sticks contain the chemical dibutyl phthalate. If the jewelry is punctured by your pet’s teeth, this chemical causes drooling and oral irritation. Glow jewelry and sticks can also cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed whole or in pieces. It’s best to throw glow jewelry and sticks away after the fireworks show.
4. Toxic and Hazardous Human Foods
If your dog knows how to use those puppy eyes to score human food or tries to eat everything in sight, skip bringing them to the BBQ or picnic. This is the best way to prevent your dog from consuming something toxic like grapes, chocolate, xylitol, onions, macadamia nuts, and alcohol or something hazardous like corn cobs, peach pits, kabob skewers, and meat bones. If you are hosting a get-together or firing up the grill, keep your moocher pets inside!
Heading to the lake or having a pool day? Ensure your dog is comfortable in the water – remember, not every dog “just knows” how to swim. You need to teach them! You should also have a properly fitting dog-specific life jacket to prevent accidental drowning and to use as a visual marker. For those with pools, securely store pool chemicals out of your pet’s reach. For beach goers, if you spot blue-green algae, discolored or cloudy water, or lots of dead fish – stay out of the water and report these findings.
6. Human Sunscreens and Bug Sprays
Bug sprays, sunscreen, lotions, and citronella products are often unsafe for pets. Unless the product is pet-specific, it can be toxic or cause an allergic reaction. Keep in mind that, with a few exceptions, most pets do not require sun protection. If you are applying any sprays to yourself, move away from your pet to avoid accidental direct exposure. After applying sprays, sunscreens, lotions, or essential oils on yourself, do not let your pet lick your skin or clothes.
7. Mosquitos and Ticks
Whether you are spending time outside, taking your dog camping or hiking, or even if you have indoor-only pets, it’s important to stay up-to-date on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Just one bite from a mosquito can infect your pet with heartworms and one tick bite could cause Lyme Disease, blood loss, anemia, tick paralysis, and skin irritation or infections. If you spot a tick on your pet, promptly put on gloves, apply rubbing alcohol to the area, and remove the tick with thumb forceps.
8. Accessories and Outfits
If you have fun red, white, and blue accessories for your pet to wear, always make sure your pet is supervised and comfortable while in their outfit, hats, handkerchiefs, bows, etc. Secondly, your pet’s movement, breathing, or senses shouldn’t be restricted. Small embellishments and dangling pieces such as sequins, beads, or yarn that can be chewed off should be avoided! These items could cause a choking hazard or obstruction if swallowed.
We hope this list helps you keep your pets safe this Fourth of July! If your pet does experience an emergency over the holiday and your family veterinarian is unavailable, both our Oakdale and St. Paul emergency facilities are open 24/7, every day of the year.
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- Lake & Beach Dangers for Dogs
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