Fourth of July fireworks and related activities may be sparkling fun for people but the appeal fizzles out when it comes to pets.
The Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (DAVMS) and Denver’s police and fire departments are used to traumatized or injured animals on Independence Day and they’ve issued tips to keep them safe and sane.
First, the veterinary society’s advice:
* Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or attending someone else’s, carry snacks specifically for your pet instead of offering them something from your plate. Some foods can be dangerous for pets, and what seems like a nice treat can quickly turn deadly.
* If you plan on using sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet, make sure it is meant for pet use. Some “people” products can be poisonous for pets and are potentially life-threatening. A few signs that your pet has consumed something toxic are vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy. If you think your pet is exhibiting these symptoms, take it to the nearest emergency animal hospital.
* Don’t take your pets to see the fireworks. Bursts of color in the sky may seem like fun, but the loud noises and large crowds that accompany fireworks are not pet-friendly. These situations can make your pet frightened and anxious, which can cause them to run off and become lost. Shelters often report higher intake during fireworks celebrations.
* Make sure your pet is licensed and microchipped. It’s always important to keep a collar on your pet with their license and vaccination information, but it is especially important when they are spending more time outdoors. Proper identification will allow local shelters to reunite you with your pet in the event that they are lost. Better yet, get them microchipped and keep registration information up-to-date with your name, current address, and phone number for a faster reunion with your pet.
* The best way to keep your pet safe on the 4th of July is to leave your pet indoors. For more pet resources, visit the DAVMS “Resources for Pet Owners” page.
The Denver Police and Fire Department’s “Don’t Cross The Line 2013” anti-fireworks campaign continues to focus on how to protect community pets. Here’s some of their tips:
* Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
* Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.
* If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
• Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
• Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.
* To report illegal fireworks, call the Denver Police Department’s non-emergency number at 720-913-2000.
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