CLEVELAND — The Fourth of July is typically a time for all to enjoy. So often it involves friends, family, food, drinks, fireworks and plenty of sunshine. It’s one of the best times of the year for most, but that certainly doesn’t include your pets.
The Cleveland Animal Protective League wants to remind you that the family you will be spending time with this weekend does include your pets, and they shouldn’t be forgotten about. With fireworks, large crowds and plenty of other activities going on, this can be a tough weekend for pets.
To keep your pets happy and healthy over the Fourth of July, the Cleveland APL released a few tips to keep in mind:
· Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID. In the event your pet is frightened and escapes, it is important that all your furry friends—even indoor-only pets—wear a collar with a personalized ID tag that includes your name and current phone number. If your pet has a microchip, make sure all of the information on their chip is up-to-date. Also, please make sure your dog has a current dog license in your county. Not only can it be your dog's best way home to you, but it's the law!
· 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.
· Turn on soft music, air conditioning, or fans to help to mute some of the noise.
· Move your pet to an interior room with no windows and make sure they are secure. Make sure that your doors and gates are closed, and your windows are either closed or not open enough for your pet to escape through—it isn’t uncommon for some pets to get scared and run away, so make sure to always keep your pet inside or in your sight.
· Try having your pet wear an anti-anxiety vest, and if you don’t have an anti-anxiety vest, try a snuggly fitting t-shirt.
· Allow your pet to hide! Many pets will retreat to a small closet, bathtub, or will hide under furniture. Let them do whatever they need to comfort themselves.
· Make an appointment with your veterinarian well in advance of the holiday to discuss medicine or other supplements that might help with anxiety. Generally, medication is indicated only for pets with extreme fear and anxiety, but your veterinarian is the best judge.
· Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. If ingested, your pet could become intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. In severe cases, death from respiratory failure is also a possibility.
· Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent 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. Make sure to keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of your pets’ reach.
· 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.
· Do not put glow jewelry on your pets or allow them to play with it. While the substance in glow jewelry is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion and intestinal blockage could occur from swallow large pieces of plastic containers.
Following these tips will not only help you have a better holiday weekend, but your pets as well.
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