Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Dallas-Fort Worth pets need protection from potential Fourth of July dangers
Fireworks displays are no place for your pets.
The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country’s freedom with family and friends. But while we’re enjoying the festivities, food, and fireworks, it can be stressful and potentially hazardous for our pets.
Even though you may want to share the excitement of picnics, pool parties, and pyrotechnics with your pets, they’ll be safer and happier confined safely at home in quiet and familiar surroundings.
By planning ahead and following the tips below, you can ensure that everyone in the family, including those with fur and four legs, enjoys this Independence Day.
• Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so leave them at home in a calm, sheltered and escape-proof part of your house. Make sure they have their favorite toys to play with, and put on some soothing music to help block the sound of neighborhood noises. Don’t take them along with plans to leave them in the car. It’s far too hot this time of the year, even in the evenings, and a pet can suffocate in a matter of minutes. Leaving the car windows partially open doesn’t provide enough air, but could allow your pet to be stolen, to escape, or get hurt trying to get away.
• Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks could result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
• Never leave pets outside unattended. Even in a fenced yard, panic can lead a pet to escape and get lost, or become injured while trying to seek safety.
• Make sure that your pet is always wearing identification and has been microchipped in case he does get lost.
• If your pet normally fears loud noises such as thunder, he’ll react the same way to fireworks. Consult your veterinarian in advance for ways to reduce your pet’s anxiety, and consider having someone remain home with your pet.
• Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. If swallowed or chewed on, matches could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing — or even kidney disease in some cases. Lighter fluid can burn the skin, and is toxic if ingested. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
• Keep your pets away from alcoholic drinks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and citronella candles, all of which can cause severe illness or worse.