MarketWatch.com - While the Fourth of July is traditionally celebrated with barbecues and fireworks, it can be one of the most dangerous days of the year for pets. To keep all pets safe this Fourth of July, petMD.com has pulled together a list of the top 10 safety tips for pet owners.
Leave Your Pet at Home: Keeping your pets at home and inside your house is one of the safest things you can do for them. Fireworks and other loud noises can terrify your pets and cause them to run away.
Provide a Safe Spot Away from Loud Noises: If your pet is crate-trained or normally relaxes in a confined area, having them in such an area during fireworks displays can help reduce anxiety since they identify the location as a place of comfort. However, if your pet is not used to crates or small areas, confining them to one can further induce panic and is not recommended.
Use Pet-Friendly Insect Repellants and Sunscreens: Many human products are toxic to pets and can cause side effects such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Make sure to apply only pet-friendly products and talk with your vet to find out which products he recommends.
Pass on the Beer: Alcohol is poisonous to pets, and if ingested, pets can become weak, depressed, have difficulty breathing, and could possibly go into a coma or even die. Making sure that alcoholic beverages are stored and placed in an area inaccessible to pets can help prevent accidental ingestion.
Leave Scraps on the Table: Although you may be tempted to give your pet some scraps from your barbecue, many things on your table are harmful to your pet. Corn-on-the cob, fatty meats, onions, garlic, caffeine, grapes and even some baked goods can result in health complications for your pet.
Forgo Glow Sticks and Jewelry: Few things are cuter than seeing your pet dressed up, but costumes may contain small pieces of plastic and harmful chemicals, which if swallowed can easily lead to your pet choking or becoming ill.
Have Your Pet Properly Identified: It's not uncommon for pets to go missing on the Fourth of July. Making sure your pet has an ID collar, microchip or other form of identification can have you reunited sooner. Having recent photos to share with neighbors can also help speed up the process of finding your pet.
Beware of Lighter Fluid and Matches: Some matches contain chlorates, which can cause breathing difficulties and red blood cell damage if consumed. Lighter fluid can also irritate your pet's skin and can cause gastrointestinal irritation if swallowed.
Never Use Fireworks Around Pets: While it's obvious that lit fireworks are dangerous around pets, unlit fireworks can be just as harmful. Fireworks contain toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate and heavy metals, which if ingested can result in serious health implications.
Keep Emergency Contact Info Handy: Store your vet’s information in an easily accessible place so you can contact someone quickly should your pet need help. Another number to keep handy is the Pet Poison Helpline. They can be reached at 1-855-213-6680.