Hopeful Henry: Fourth of July pet safety | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hopeful Henry: Fourth of July pet safety

July Fourth is one of our favorite holidays here at the lake. Nothing beats lounging at the beach with friends and family waiting for the best fireworks display in the country. For many people, this activity included bringing along four-legged familymembers. Here are some important tips, courtesy of the ASPCA on keeping your Fourth of July safe for your furry friend.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of pets reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing — or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

Keep pets on their normal diets. Any change, even for one meal, can give pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

Do not put glow jewelry on pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

Lost pets are a big problem on July Fourth. Make sure all pets, both cats and dogs (even if you cat doesn’t go outside), have collars with a current identification tag. Take extra care to keep pets safe inside. It might be a good idea to put them in a separate room especially if you are having people over. This will avoid anyone accidentally letting them out.

Hoping everyone has a happy and safe July Fourth!

Submit furry familymember photos to the Lake Tahoe Humane Society’s calendar/card photo contest. Visit http://www.LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org and click on the calendar link, scroll to bottom of the page, fill out form and submit the photo. It is a fun way to support our Lake Tahoe Humane Society and help local animals in need. Submit questions or letters via email to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 96158. The Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA have a Facebook page, so stop by and check it out at http://www.Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumaneSocietySPCA. Also become a Facebook friend to HopefulHenry at http://www.Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry or follow us on Twitter @LtHumaneSociety.

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