Keeping Your Pets Safe on the Fourth of July

presidential candidate articleThe Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of our nation, filled with fun backyard activities, barbecue dining and booming fireworks lighting up the sky. This Independence Day be sure to take proper safety precautions to ensure that your dog or cat is protected from the potential hazards.

Leaving Alcoholic Drinks Unattended

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Respiratory failure can also occur, resulting in possible death.

Sunscreens and Insect Repellent Products

Never use any sunscreen or insect repellent products for your pet that is not specifically labeled for use on animals. If these products are ingested by your pet, drooling, vomiting diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy can occur. Misusing insect repellent that contains DEET can also lead to neurological problems.

Matches and Lighter Fluid

Matches and lighter fluid should always be kept out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which can potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Not only can lighter fluid be irritating to your pets’ skin, if ingested, it can also produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, lighter fluid can cause aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems to develop.

Keep Pets on their Normal Diet

Any change to your pet’s diet, even for one meal, can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is especially true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Also, keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to animals.

Glow Jewelry

While glow jewelry is a popular Fourth of July item, avoid putting it on your pets, or allowing your pet to play with it. Although the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.


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 of fireworks have potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Keep Your Pet Inside if Possible

While your pet may typically stay outdoors, keeping them inside on the Fourth of July will help to prevent them from fleeing when fireworks start exploding. To keep your pet calm, set up a comfort station in an enclosed space with a bowl of fresh water, and turn on soothing music to help drown out loud noises. Animals take cues from our actions, so act calm. Also, be sure sure everyone in the family does the same, including children.

Be Prepared in the Event Your Pet Escapes

Microchip Your Pet

Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped before the Fourth of July. Microchipping your pet allows for the best chance of him or her coming back home should they ever go missing.

Contact Information

Be sure your contact information for the microchip is up to date. If you have recently moved or changed your phone number, it’s crucial that you let your microchip company know. You don’t want your pet to wind up permanently in a shelter or rehomed because there was no way to contact you.

ID Tags

Lastly, make sure your pet wears a durable collar with up to date information on the identification tags. While microchipping is a great way to ensure your pet’s safety, ID tags also increase the chances that your pet is reunited with you should he or she become lost.


These are just a few tips for your keeping your pet safe this Fourth of July. Contact All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below for more information!

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