Ask Hopeful Henry: Keep furry friends safe during holiday |

Ask Hopeful Henry: Keep furry friends safe during holiday

As we are preparing for a fun-filled Fourth of July, I want to remind everyone about some important pet safety tips. While we enjoy the festivities of the Fourth, with barbecues, parties and fireworks, our pets have a different outlook. For our furry friends it can be a very stressful time of year. I am hoping these tips help you and your pet enjoy the Fourth with a little less stress.

Leave your pets indoors. Don’t take pets to a friend’s party or to the beach to watch the fireworks. All the activity and noise of the fireworks will only scare them and could cause them to bolt. Even well-trained pets can run away in this environment, it’s just a natural response. If your pup lives in the yard, bring them inside. Hyper-sensitive animals should be placed in a bedroom or bathroom in the house. Make sure the windows are closed and the blinds are drawn. Crate-trained dogs should be put in the crate and covered with a blanket. Turn on a TV or radio to mask the noise of the fireworks. Make sure all your animals are tagged with an I.D. tag and collar. Even if you’re pets live indoors, if the pets do get out, there’s a better chance of finding them.

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.

Do not use glow sticks around your pets, or allow them to play with it. While these glow sticks are fun to play with, they are not dog toys. The luminescent substance contained in these products is toxic, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing pieces of the plastic containers.

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 your 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.

No table scraps please. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Submit your questions or letters via email to or by mail to P.O. Box PET, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA on Facebook at SocietySPCA. You can also become a Facebook friend of Hopeful Henry at

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