For many families on the Gulf Coast of Florida, their four-legged friends are just as much a part of the clan as their blood relatives. They ride in the car, share dinner, even go with you on vacations. But the annual Fourth of July celebration? That’s one time where it can be painful and scary for your pets to be around.
The Great Indoors
While the sights and sounds of fireworks and firecrackers excites and thrills us, it has the opposite effect on your pets. Even if they’re normally outside pets, keep them in the house and secure. The bright lights can startle them, even causing them to try and go anywhere to escape.
Make sure your animals are wearing their ID tags and consider chipping them in case they run away. And if they do escape, as soon as you notice they’re missing, go look for them.
Dogs can hear sounds 4 times farther away than we can, AND they hear much higher frequencies. So you can see why the sound of the explosions can be terrifying to your pets. In addition to putting them inside, experts suggest turning on the TV or radio to help muffle the loud noises outside.
If you do let your pets go outdoors, there are a few things to watch out for.
No matter how much they beg, don’t let them have any of your alcohol! Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats. Even just a sip of beer can send them into an intoxicated coma or even fatal respiratory failure. Just don’t do it.
Some of us like to share off the dinner table, but be aware: chocolate, onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins and salt can all pose potential harm to pets, for various reasons.
Keep fireworks away from your pets. Lighter fluid and matches can be harmful, if ingested. Bright sparkles from lit fireworks can attract attention, leading curious pets to get too close before they explode. And even unexploded fireworks ordinance can be harmful to pets.
Glow sticks have become increasingly popular for outdoor gatherings in recent years. But while the materials are no longer highly toxic, they are easily swallowed by pets, and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress.
Need Not Apply
Just because your pets are members of the family, that doesn’t mean they need to be slathered with sunscreen. Even if they don’t try to lick it off, it can seep into their skin, causing drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.
The same is true for insect repellents. Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA, and can lead to pneumonia. The most common ingredient in most bug sprays is DEET, which can cause neurological issues for pets.
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