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4th of July Safety Tips for Your Pet

       While it may seem like a great idea to reward your pet with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:
  1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.

  2. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.

  3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets' reach. Certain types of matches could potentially damage blood cells and even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid irritates the skin, and if ingested causes gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

  4. Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to animals.

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

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

  7. 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.

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

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