There’s nothing like a backyard celebration on the Fourth of July with family, friends and our furry friends. While it may seem like a great idea to give your pet scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some human foods and activities can be potentially hazardous to them. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Some foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to animals.
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing pieces of the containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • 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.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, who can become frightened or disoriented by the sound. Please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

Here’s to a wonderful, safe and fun Fourth of July to you….and your pets!