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How to Keep Pets Safe on the Fourth of July

If you are going to be including your animal companion in the Fourth of July festivities, it’s important to be aware of a few common hazards the holiday presents. Here, your Niwot, CO vet tells you how to keep your pet safe while enjoying the nation’s independence.

Have Pet Skip the Fireworks

Thinking of taking Fido to your local fireworks display? It’s best to reconsider. Unlike us, pets don’t take kindly to the ear-splitting cracks and bright flashes that fireworks bring. It’s very possible that they’ll run away terrified into the night! Rather than dealing with a lost pet on the Fourth of July, keep them secured at home, where they’ll be safe and sound.

Use Caution with Fireworks at Home

If you’re setting off firecrackers or sparklers in your driveway to help celebrate the holiday, remember to use caution. These smaller pyrotechnics can also startle pets into darting off. Plus, if a pet is allowed to get too close, serious burns can result. Avoid the risk of an accident; either keep your pet indoors until you’re done lighting off fireworks, or secure them a safe distance away. Also make sure that your animal friend is wearing ID tags, a microchip, or both in the event that he or she does manage to escape despite your best efforts.

Picnic and Party Safety

There are plenty of common picnic and party foods that pets shouldn’t have, including grapes, raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, onions, garlic, chives, shallots, salty foods, fatty items, caffeine, certain nuts, and much more. Don’t slip your pet bones, whether they’re cooked or raw; bones can splinter apart and create razor-sharp pieces that may cut a pet’s mouth or stomach lining.

Alcohol is another big pet no-no that is commonly found at July Fourth parties. Alcohol can poison pets easily, so keep a close eye on unattended drinks. Never feed your pet alcohol on purpose; this goes for wine, liquor, beer, champagne, and even foods cooked with alcohol.

Heat and Sun

Another hazard that comes with the Fourth is the heat and sun. Don’t let your pet stay outdoors for too long; allow them back inside to cool off. Make sure they have access to cool, fresh water at all times. You may also consider applying a pet-formulated sunscreen to areas of skin that aren’t covered by fur.

Talk to your Niwot, CO veterinarian for more holiday safety tips.

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