Keep your pets safe this 4th of July
Posted June 30, 2017
of us celebrate our nation’s Independence Day by barbequing and
relaxing with loved ones. When the sun goes down, it is a tradition
gather together to admire and enjoy the bright-colored flashes of
fireworks that light up the night sky. The 4th of July
may be a fun-filled holiday for you, but for pets, the holiday can
be potentially scary and hazardous.
Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor for the Texas
A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,
explained that pets are at an increased risk during several
dangerous scenarios as we celebrate.
“Most of the time, injuries to pets during the holiday are
related to them getting out of the house or yard because they are
frightened or having anxiety about the fireworks,” Eckman said.
“The injuries range from minor cuts and lacerations to more serious
injuries, such as being hit by a vehicle.”
If your dog is frightened by fireworks, Eckman recommended
minimizing the pet’s exposure to the noise. This can be done by
finding a safe, quiet room in your home where your pet can stay
relaxed. If your pet is attending your outdoor fireworks show, keep
them leashed to prevent the dog from running away or jumping a
fence in an attempt to find safety.
In addition, Eckman said a veterinarian-prescribed medication
can help a pet remain calm when loud noises are present, especially
if the animal is known to have anxiety. There are also several
products on the market that are designed to wrap around pets,
making them feel safe in a blanket-like material.
“Ultimately, people should seek their veterinarian’s advice on
what may work best for their pet,” Eckman said.
Eckman also discourages owners from feeding table scraps to
their pets. This can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, and
diarrhea. In severe cases, a gastrointestinal disorder can develop
and obstructions can occur—especially if Fido eats a bone or corn
on the cob. In addition, alcohol should never be given to
pets because it can be potentially fatal.
Finally, if you plan to bring your pet to the party, be cautious
of the dangers of mosquitos, fleas, and ticks. Spraying your pet
with insect repellant may seem like a reasonable solution to the
bug problem, but some sprays are not safe for animals. Instead, use
an effective flea and tick repellant prescribed by your
veterinarian. Since heartworms are transmitted to pets through
mosquitos, a common summer nuisance, be sure your pet is taking
heartworm preventative before they enjoy the holiday outdoors.
As a pet owner, it is important to consider all of the dangerous
situations your pet may experience during the holiday. If you are
concerned about the dangers your pet may face and want to fully
protect them, leave your pet at home.
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be
viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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