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Like many Americans, you may be planning a festive 4th of July, complete with barbecue and fireworks. It’s important to remember, fireworks and dogs don’t mix. Unlike people, dogs won’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with a celebration. Fireworks will often cause panic and anxiety in dogs. Dogs panic at the sound of fireworks and flee into the night, often winding up lost, injured, or killed. In order to prevent your celebration from turning into a tragedy, here are our top 4th of July safety tips.
- Don’t Use Fireworks Near Dogs- While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious dogs and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.
- Don’t Use Citronella Insect Control Products- Oils, candles, insect coils, and other citronella-based repellants are irritating toxins to dogs, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.
- . Don’t Give Your Dog ‘Table Food’- If you are having a backyard barbecue, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your dog. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt, and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs (and cats).
- Have Your Dog Properly Identified- Without proper identification it is extremely difficult to retrieve a lost dog. Consider fitting your dog with microchip identification, ID tags with his or her name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your dog in case you have to put up signs.
- Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home- The safest place for your dog is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar, and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking him or her in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.