Act Now to Keep Pets Safe for the 4th of July
Monday, July 01, 2013
The veterinarians at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center remind pet owners to take steps now to protect their pets over the July 4th holiday. Booming fireworks, barbecues and lots of activity can present significant danger to pets. Although most pets are not directly exposed to fireworks, the loud noises fireworks produce can result in stress and anxiety for pets. Pet owners are encouraged to visit their veterinarian in advance of the holiday to develop a plan for keeping pets safe and calm during the July 4th celebrations. If necessary, a veterinarian may prescribe medication to help ease the pet's stress.
Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center offers the following tips to help pet owners protect their cats and dogs over the holiday and throughout the summer.
• Leashes: Keep your pet on a leash when outdoors. An unleashed pet can be hit by a car, bitten by another animal, or otherwise be a danger to themselves and others.
• Balconies, decks and windows: Balconies, decks and open windows are dangerous to pets. Both cats and dogs are known to jump or fall off balconies and decks and through open windows. Fireworks can cause even usually calm pets to jump. When on a balcony or deck, pets should be on a harness leash held by a responsible adult.
• Food: Pets that get into human food during cookouts can suffer serious health problems as a result. Corn cobs and bones can get lodged in a pet's intestine and require surgery to remove. High fat foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages often cause stomach upset and can lead to pancreatitis, a serious health problem for dogs. Many foods, including chocolate, sugar-free gum, avocados, grapes and onions, can be poisonous to pets. It's best to always keep pets on their usual diet.
• Sunscreen and bug spray: Sunscreen and bug spray should never be used on pets unless the item is specifically approved for use on animals. Bug sprays are particularly problematic because they often contain DEET, a product that can cause neurological damage to pets. Pet owners should check with their veterinarian to learn how to protect pets from fleas, ticks and other pests.
• Heatstroke: Heat stroke can lead to kidney failure, brain damage, and in severe cases, death. Keep pets cool when temperatures rise and make certain they always have plenty of cool, fresh drinking water. Leaving pets in an unattended vehicle is especially dangerous on warm days because car temperatures can increase dramatically in just a few minutes.
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