Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pet safety tips for the Fourth

Dog Do's and Don'ts for the 4th of July

We all love to include our dogs in our celebrations with family and friends. But the 4th of July, in all its loud, blasting, fiery glory, is one party your dog would rather not be invited to. 

Do use sunscreen on any area of your dog that is thin-skinned and not covered by hair—the little tips of pale noses, for example. 

Don't apply anything that isn't labeled specifically for use on animals. 

If your dog accidentally eats or licks sunscreen products, he or she may suffer from drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Insect repellent with DEET, a common insecticide, can lead to neurological issues. 

Do give your dog his or her own special dinner or treats made just for pets, like doggie ice cream. 

Don't let your dog eat scraps from the grill or buffet. 

Changes in diet can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea, especially in older dogs. These foods are potentially toxic to animals: avocado, chocolate, coffee, grapes and raisins, onions, salt, and yeast dough. 

Do provide your dog with plenty of fresh water in a few locations at your backyard cookout. 

Don't leave alcoholic beverages unattended where dogs can get to them. 

Any alcoholic drink is potentially poisonous to dogs. They could become intoxicated and weak, depressed, or even comatose. In severe cases, death from respiratory failure is a possibility. 

Do invite your dog to your cookout if it's just a few people and you can supervise him or her closely.

Don't leave matches or lighter fluid where your dog could chew or eat them. 

Your dog could suffer damaged blood cells and even kidney disease from the chlorates in some matches. And if your dog ingests lighter fluid or licks an insect coil, he or she could suffer gastrointestinal irritation or central nervous system damage. A good sniff of lighter fluid or a citronella candle can cause aspiration pneumonia or other breathing problems. 

Do make your dog a part of your festivities with a red, white, and blue bandanna.

Don't let your him or her wear or play with glow jewelry. 

It's not highly toxic, but the luminescent stuff inside these tubes can still cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation. And if your dog swallows a large piece of the plastic, it could even cause a blocked intestine. 

Do keep your dog indoors in a quiet, sheltered, escape-proof area at home where firecracker sounds from outside can't be heard. 

Don't take your dog along to a loud, crowded venue where there will be fireworks.

Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances like potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals. Lit fireworks can result in burns or trauma to curious noses and paws. 

Be a best friend this summer and don't bring your dog to see the fireworks. Instead, find some togetherness time playing and relaxing. You'll both be happier for it. 


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