Summer weather is the perfect time for backyard barbecues, outdoor festivals and Fourth of July fireworks shows.
Whether you're planning to check out the College Park fireworks show at the University of Maryland, hanging out at home or heading to DC to celebrate, be mindful that Independence Day festivities also bring risks to your pets. Check out some safety tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):
Keep alcohol out of reach
There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day… Just be sure to keep it out of reach of your pets. If ingested, alcohol could cause them to become severely depressed, go into a coma and in extreme cases, have respiratory failure.
Read your sunscreen and insect repellent labels
Insects will likely be buzzing around your pets when they’re outside. But as much as we want to protect them, be sure you’re using repellent or sunscreen meant for pets. Regular repellents containing DEET can cause neurological damage, and ingestion of these products may result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Put your lighter fluid away
After you’re done barbecuing, be sure to put your lighter fluid away, and keep it in a place your pet can’t reach while you’re using it. Ingesting lighter fluid or eating matches can cause serious breathing problems, pneumonia and gastrointestinal irritation.
Don’t feed your pets anything unusual
If steak and spareribs aren’t the norm for your pets’ diet, then keep it that way. Though it’s tempting to give in to their hungry, puppy-dog eyes, changing their diets in even a small way can give your pets indigestion and diarrhea.
Glow sticks are for the kids, not the pets
Don’t allow your kids to put glow jewelry on your pets. The luminescent substance can be harmful to their stomachs, and swallowing the plastic can cause severe blockage.
Pets and fireworks don’t mix
Keep any fireworks you have away from your pets. They can be harmful, even if they’re unused. And while we might want to bring them along to enjoy the sparkly show, the loud noises and crowds won’t be any fun for your pet.