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Keeping Pets Safe on Fourth of July!
By Jill Anne Sparapany
Everyone loves Fourth of July celebrations – cookouts, friends and fireworks! While we are having fun, we may be overlooking our celebratory effects on our pets. There are many dangers other than the fireworks noise.
We enjoy great food and beverages on July 4th. Many of those foods are dangerous to our cats…chocolate, onions, garlic and anything made with those ingredients are poisonous to cats. Feed your cats before guests arrive and tell guests not to feed your pets. Be on the lookout for plates of uneaten food that guests are done with and dispose of them. Never feed your cat food bones! Splintered bones that are ingested can perforate their stomach or intestines causing severe illness or death.
Alcohol – never, ever give a pet any alcoholic beverage! Be sure guests do not leave their drinks unattended or put their drinks on the ground when partying outdoors where pets may ingest alcohol.
Certain insecticides are extremely poisonous to pets. Do not use sunscreens or insect repellents on your cat. Use flea and tick medications recommended by your vet if your pet will be outdoors.
Citronella candles and oils being burned to repel mosquitoes and lawn chemicals are also dangerous to our pets. They love to roll around on the lawn and can have the lawn chemicals transferred to their fur where they may lick them off. Also the lawn chemicals can irritate their skin or cause allergic reactions. Open flames of candles can cause burns if the cat wanders too close.
Every year, many pets who are in the backyard during the July 4th festivities become scared with the noise and fireworks light bursts and run away. When the fireworks begin, ensure your pets are locked up inside your home securely – in a room that is closed off from the doors to the backyard so guests do not accidentally allow your pet to escape. Keep pets away from flames, like a backyard fire pit, and lighters.
Just in case your pet does become scared and gets loose, have them micro-chipped! Collars may be easy pet identification but they can lose them. If your pet has a microchip, keep up the annual pet registration and make sure all your identification is current.
Keep your pets safe and enjoy your Fourth of July!