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e Fourth of July is just a couple of weeks away and if you are planning a big family gathering it's important to consider your four-legged furry friends. Pets are always a big part of all our family's celebrations - most of the time, they're the life of the party! 
 
While you may want to include Rover or Fido in all of the holiday excitement, the reality is that some Fourth of July events are not exactly pet friendly.
 
Here are a few tips from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty) Animal Poison Control Center on how to keep your pet safe over the July 4th holiday:
 
  • Animals and Booze Do Not Mix - Be sure your guests keep track of their alcoholic drinks and don't leave them where a pet may be able to lap them up. Alcoholic drinks can poison an animal and even a little alcohol can lead to intoxication or a coma.
     
  • Animals Don't Need Sunscreen - Avoid putting sunscreen or bug repellent on your animal unless it is specifically branded for animal use. Dogs or cats could end up licking the sunscreen off. Ingesting these products can lead to diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy. DEET in insect repellent can cause neurological issues.
     
  • Don't Feed the Animals - While your dog may enjoy table scraps, it is never a good idea to share food with them. A change in diet can lead to an upset stomach or indigestion. Foods such as chocolate, coffee and onions can actually be toxic and deadly to dogs.
     
  • Keep Glow Sticks Away - The luminescent substance in glow sticks or glow jewelry is not toxic to animals or humans but it can cause serious irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and lead to out of control drooling. The plastic bits could also lead to a blockage in the throat or intestines.
     
  • Fireworks are Not for Pets - If you plan on using fireworks, keep the dogs and cats inside. Even sparklers can be dangerous if a dog picks one up in their mouth or is burned with it. Loud fireworks can affect their hearing and scare them. It is important to pick up all used fireworks, they may contain dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, heavy metals or potassium nitrate.
     
  • Large Displays Are No Place for Animals - While you might enjoy having Fido with you at your local fireworks display, odds are that your pet will not have any fun. Large crowds combined with loud noises can be scary for your pet and if they manage to get away from you, the odds of finding them are not great. Keep them safe at home in a nice quiet area of the house.
 
For more tips about animal safety, you can visit ASPCA's website at  www.aspca.org.
Posted 3:52 PM  View Comments

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