Happy Independence Day

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Happy Fourth of July to you,


Remember your pets on July 4th and use these tips to keep them safe.
Best tip is to keep your pet indoors during the festivities. Even the most calm dog can get spooked from the noise of the fireworks. I have had dogs jump fences, chew through fences, and break windows in attempts to flee. If your dog is showing a lot of fear from the noise, best place for him is in a kennel in a dark room.
Our first instinct when dogs are trembling from the noise is to soothe the dog and  pay extra attention to him. This behavior from us actually reinforces the fear in the dog and makes it worse. It is important that you remain calm and don’t baby the dog. This is the first step in teaching the dog not to fear the noise. If they become to terrified, put them in their safe place during the festivities, then get with an animal trainer to desensitize them to loud noises before the next holiday.
If taking your pet with you to a holiday festivity,
  1. Make sure you have proper identification and a leash on him so you can control him.
  2. Watch your alcoholic spirits and open glasses to keep your pet from accidentally ingesting your drinks. Alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets.
  3. Avoid feeding your pet scraps from your grill. Any diet change can upset your pet’s digestive system and ruin your picnic with a trip to the animal ER.Especially avoid foods such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and  macadamia nuts.
  4. Avoid applying sunscreen or insect repellent not intended for pets on your pet. They can lick it and ingestion can result in drooling, vomiting , diarrhea and othe problems warranting another visit to the ER.
  5. Keep pets away from the fireworks, matches, candles, BBQ pits, Tiki torches, citronella candles and lighter fluid. If eaten these products can also irritate the stomach.
  6. Be careful around pools. Not all dogs are expert swimmers. Also, pool water contains chlorine and can cause problems if your dog drinks too much of it.
  7. Watch your pet for signs of heat stroke. Not all pets can tolerate the heat and can only cool themselves through panting. Make sure there is plenty of shade and cool water available for your pet. Also hot concrete and asphalt can burn their feet and never leave your dog in the car.
  8. Some products that may help calm your dog tranquilizers available from your veterinarian,  melatonin 1 – 3 mg give before the fireworks
Enjoy your holiday,
Debra Garrison, DVM
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
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