Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July holiday

Keeping pets safe on the Fourth of July

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Fourth of July holiday can be a relaxing time to spend with family and friends, but not everyone finds it fun.

For pets, the holiday can be stressful and scary.

Booming fireworks, bright lights and barbecue table scraps can be a dangerous for Fido and Fluffy.

According to pet experts, the Fourth of July leads to more lost pets than any other day of the year because of loud explosions and bright flashes from fireworks.

A dog’s ears, on average, are four times more sensitive than humans and the bright lights can be disorienting.

The combination of loud booms and flashing lights can cause a frightened pet to take off running and unable to find their way back home.

Lost pets are brought into shelters, making July 5 the busiest day in reuniting pets with their owners.

Ahead of the holiday, pet experts suggest microchipping your pet and making sure they have a durable collar with an up-to-date tag. This will make reuniting easier if a pet runs away.

Experts also suggest talking to the pets veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication that can make the holiday less stressful. Keeping the pet home in quiet and calm place could be another solution.

Other safety suggestions for the holiday include:

  • Don’t let your pet near firework debris. If you plan to host your own display, keep your furry friend away from the fireworks, as exposure to a lit firework could result in severe burns to a curious pet. Additionally, many substances used to create color in fireworks, like potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals can be toxic if swallowed.
  • Don’t let your pet eat food they normally wouldn’t. With delicious smells wafting off the grill, a pet will probably be begging for scraps. However, some festive human foods can be hazardous to animals. Foods they normally don’t eat can give them severe indigestion and diarrhea, and this is particularly true for older animals with specific nutritional requirements. Foods like onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins and salt can be toxic to pets. If you plan to drink alcoholic beverages, ensure they are out of a pet’s reach; if ingested, alcohol has the potential to poison your pets.
  • Be aware of poison hazards. Many substances found at a summer cookout or campsite can be harmful to pets if ingested. Don’t put any bug spray or sunscreen on your pets that is not made for animal use. Do not allow your animals to play with glowsticks or luminescent jewelry. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch oil and charcoal and other fire accelerants up high and away from any curious paws. These substances can cause irritation, stomach problems or even respiratory failure in extreme cases. If you think your pet has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America at 314-951-1534 immediately.

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