Keep Fido & Fluffy Safe This Fourth of July
By Denise Fleck
The weeks before and after the Fourth of July are among the busiest at Animal Shelters across the country. Fireworks can be fun for you, but dangerous for your pets. In addition to the tips below, make sure ID Tags are accurate and easy to read and that microchip info is current.
Loud booms and flashing fireworks make humans “oooooo” and “awwww”, but they chase our dogs and cats from the safety of their homes. Pets become disoriented and end up miles away, and those are the lucky ones. Many more meet their fate by running frantically into the path of a car. Fireworks affect wildlife too! Many small mammals and birds become frightened and flee their nests, leaving babies behind. Butterflies become disoriented and other animals run from their safe environs into danger. Fish and water birds often die from eating the debris that falls into the water from the explosions!
Be a responsible Pet Parent this Fourth of July and make sure you provide a safe environment for your four-legged best friends. Although you may be tempted to bring them along to enjoy the festivities, think again, and follow a few rules so that your dog or cat will be safe and happy when the fifth of July rolls around.
Close the drapes and turn on a radio or television to mask any noise and distract the pet’s attention from the pops and bangs. Triple check that all doors, windows and gates are secure, and if your pet is easily agitated, make sure someone stays with him during the festivities, and don’t forget Canine Calm® by Earth Heart! The pleasant smelling formulation of essential oils, gently rubbed into Fido’s ear flaps or sprayed on his favorite bandana is sure to help him relax.
Enjoy your cookout, but keep your pets on their normal diet. Burgers, fries, salty chips, and fried chicken can all upset your pet’s stomach while fats from an abundance of these fats can result in pancreatitis, alcoholic beverages can result in a coma or respiratory failure. Chocolate can be lethal.
If swimming is on the agenda, make sure you watch Fido. Just because he’s a dog doesn’t mean he knows how to swim. For boating activities or near lakes and streams, a doggie life-vest is appropriate attire. Better yet, check out the GRReat water collars from HedzUpPets! Even if your dog fatigues (and that is the #1 reason pets drown), this collar will keep his nose, face and ears out of the water!
Keep pets far away from sparklers and firecrackers. One spark on precious fur and you’ll need an emergency trip to the veterinarian. Allow paw, snout or any part of your furry friend close to a firecracker, and the results could be deadly.
Keep insect repellents and sunscreens out of reach. If ingested by your pet, these products can result in neurological problems, vomiting and diarrhea. This includes citronella candles and other such items. My choice is Buzz Guard® by Earth Heart. Massaged into ear flaps or sprayed on a doggie bandana will keep your pooch more comfortable when bugs want to bite.
Make sure your pets can’t find your matches or lighter fluid. Some matches contain chlorates which if ingested by Fido can damage his red blood cells, cause difficulty breathing or even kidney problems. Lighter fluid can irritate the skin, cause gastrointestinal, central nervous system and pulmonary distress.
Also, since the hot days have arrived, make sure your pet doesn’t walk on any surfaces that could burn his paws. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for Fido’s four paws! Be aware of the dangers of Heat Stroke and make sure your pets have plenty of cool, fresh water and shade to retreat to. Getting over heated can result in permanent brain damage and death to your pet, so never, never, never leave him alone in a parked car — even for a short time. It only takes a few minutes (with the windows rolled down which can present a danger in itself) for the car to heat to deadly temperatures.
When day is done, you’ll be happy to have taken extra care so that your pets will be around to spend many long and happy years by your side.
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