Pet Safety Tips for 4th of July

The snap, crackle and pop of fireworks, backyard barbecues and spending time with your family and friends is a Fourth of July tradition.  All of the bright lights and noise may be exciting to us, but it can be scary and harmful to our four-legged family members.

The Houston SPCA has a few helpful tips to help keep your pets safe:

• All pets should be microchipped and wear collars and identification tags with current information.  Cats should wear a break-away/safety collar.  Dogs should wear nylon or leather collars only.  Tags should not be placed on training collars or choke chains.

• Keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe room with plenty of fresh water and give dogs several safe chew toys. Dogs that are crate trained will do better in a crate, while cats will do best in a room they are most comfortable in, with food, water and their litter boxes.

• Frightened outdoor dogs have been known to jump high fences and dig holes to escape the sound of fireworks. Indoor animals should be kept away from large glass windows or doors because they are highly capable of crashing right through when scared.

• Outdoor firework displays can be loud and crowded and not the place to bring your pet. If you stay home, never use fireworks around your pet.

• Pets are safest at home, but if you choose to bring your buddy to a picnic or BBQ, make sure to bring plenty of fresh water, keep your pet in the shade and try to make sure they do not eat table scraps, as too much human food can cause stomach upset.  Keep a sharp eye out for bones, because they can splinter if eaten.  Keep your pet on a leash, and if your pet is crate trained, bring the crate along as a safe refuge.

• Make sure to keep all alcoholic drinks where your pets cannot reach them.  Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets and in severe cases can cause death.

• Keep your pet away from citronella candles, matches, and lighter fluid. If they ingest these products it could cause gastrointestinal irritation and possibly central nervous depression.  In addition, do not use sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet that is not specifically labeled for use on animals. Consult your veterinarian for specifics.

• Remember to keep a watchful eye on your pet this Fourth of July weekend and make sure to keep the name and number of your veterinarian and local animal emergency clinic on-hand in case of emergencies.