4th of July – Safety for Your Pets

4th of July – Safety for Your Pets
July 2, 2007
Bow – Wow !!!!
Bow Wow….with the Fourth of July, we really know that summer is here! And is it
HOT! Have you considered the toll this heat and humidity may be taking on your pet?
Keep in mind, each year hundreds of pets around the country die of heatstroke because
irresponsibility. The 4th of July is no different. Many owners forget about the safety of
their pets, because they are too caught up in the festivities. Before taking your pet along
on a 4th of July excursion, think about the conditions. Is the weather too hot for your pet?
Will the fireworks scare your pet? Will you be able to supply your pet with much needed
water throughout the day?
4th of July celebrations might be a lot of fun for people, but they can be downright scary
for our animals. To help keep your animals from becoming overly stressed this 4th of
July, consider the following tips:
Heatstroke & 4th of July
Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet
can suffer serious health effects, even death, in a few short minutes. Partially opened
windows do not provide sufficient air, but do provide an opportunity for your pet to be
stolen. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside your car, even with the windows
open a bit, will climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes! After half an hour, it will go up to
120 degrees or even higher! On a 90 degree day, temperatures in that car can top 160
degrees faster than you can walk around the block. A dog suffering from heatstroke will
display several signs:
Rapid panting
Bright red tongue
Red or pale gums
Thick, sticky saliva
Vomiting - sometimes with blood
Shock – Coma
What you should do
Remove the dog from the hot area immediately. Prior to taking him to your veterinarian,
lower his temperature by wetting him thoroughly with cool water (for very small dogs,
use lukewarm water), then increase air movement around him with a fan. CAUTION:
Using very cold water can actually be counterproductive. Cooling too quickly and
especially allowing his body temperature to become too low can cause other lifethreatening medical conditions.
4th of July
Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially
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 potentially toxic substances, including
potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to
take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the
noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder,
consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and
anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their
fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become
entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost,
they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the
local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their
Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic
beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very
intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory
failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not
labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in
drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent
that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of
matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in
difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be
irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central
nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing
problems could develop.
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can
produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If
inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
If you follow these simple precautions, you and your pet can have a safe and happy
Fourth of July.
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