There’s More to 4th of July Celebrations than Fireworks – are you protecting your dog from these hazards too?

A black labrador dog is decorated for a Fourth of July PicnicAt this time of year numerous articles are published about keeping your dog safe from fireworks during [tag-tec]4th of July celebrations[/tag-tec] – but there are other hazards to be aware of too, and these can be just as deadly to your dog as fireworks.

Here are my tips for having a safe 4th of July celebration with your dog:

  • Do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended – alcohol can poison your dog and depending on the amount consumed can cause vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, tremors, coma and even death;

  • Clear away ashtrays and do not leave cigarette packets where your dog can easily reach them – it only takes the ingestion of 1 to 5 cigarettes to kill your dog; if you smoke cigars and your dog eats less than half a cigar, that can be a lethal dose;
  • Do not use a sunscreen or insect repellent on your dog unless it’s specifically made for pets – non-pet sunscreen contains ingredients that can make your dog drool, vomit and suffer with diarrhea if he ingests a sufficient quantity. Insect repellents often contain DEET which, if applied to your dog, can result in neurological problems;
  • Don’t feed your dog scraps from the barbecue – any change to your dog’s diet can result in a stomach upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea), and this is particularly the case when your dog eats fatty and/or salty foods, such as meat scraps and hot dogs.
    Remember that bones, particularly chicken bones, can splinter and get lodged in your dog’s throat.
    Other foods to be wary of are grapes and raisins, chocolate, coffee, onions and avocados – these can all be toxic to your dog;
  • If you feel the need to dress your dog up in a costume, make sure it’s not tight fitting, his movement isn’t restricted and there aren’t any buttons or other decorations he can easily pull off and swallow;
  • If there are a lot of people, particularly children, at your celebration keep an eye on your dog to make sure he isn’t looking uncomfortable being around so many people. Even the most good natured of dogs can bite if they feel threatened by a situation or are being teased;
  • Matches, lighters, candles – these should all be kept out of your dog’s reach. As well as being toxic, a lighted candle is a fire hazard for your dog; and
  • Don’t let your dog spend all day in the sun – he could be at risk from heatstroke. Ensure your dog has access to a cool, shaded area and has plenty of water to drink throughout the day.

Wishing you and your dog a safe 4th of July celebration!

[tags]dog safety, dog nicotine poisoning, summer tips for dogs[/tags]

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