Parties, barbecues and celebrations will kick into high gear over the next few days as families will have blowouts to commemorate the Independence Day holiday.
But while families will be caught up in the events and celebrations — from cookouts and barbecues featuring savory dishes cooked on open flames and watching fireworks— family pets will need a little extra TLC.
Pets may easily become injured, burned or scared from the open barbecue flames and noise from the celebrations.
But the best way to protect your pets is with a bit of prevention and first aid.
Accidents do happen. Be prepared with some first-aid tips from the doctors and staff at BluePearl Veterinary Partners:
• First, never put any types of cream, ointment, butter or margarine on your pet’s burn. These can introduce bacteria and other harmful substances into the burned area.
• If the burn is mild, cool the area as soon as possible with cool water and contact your veterinarian. Never use ice as ice increases the chance of hypothermia.
• For more severe burns, cover the wound with a clean, sterile cloth. Most importantly get the pet to your family veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital as soon as possible.
• In addition to the burn itself, injured animals may not behave as usual because of pain, fear or shock.
• Besides burn injuries, there is usually an uptick in emergencies relating to vomiting, diarrhea and heat exhaustion.
• Keep pets in an air-conditioned environment during the heat of the day and limit strenuous activities such as running and playing. Always make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water.
• If your pet does become overheated, spray the animal down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can’t escape the body, which makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.
Besides physical injuries, pets may have an increase in anxiety and stress because of fireworks and visits by a house full of guests that may not usually be around. This is important to remember as your pets may not behave as they usually do.
• If your pets frighten easily, make sure they can’t run away, as loud noises from fireworks could frighten them. Also, if your pets are frightened because of this unusual activity, try playing a game during this time to distract them or place them in a secure area like a kennel where they can feel safe. Placing a blanket over the kennel can decrease their anxiety. If you know your pet experiences anxiety in thunderstorms and while fireworks are going off, contact your veterinarian to see about potential medicated solutions.
Furthermore, with the Fourth of July usually comes a feast of flavorful foods, but remember the same things you enjoy could harm or even kill your pet.
Foods harmful to your pet include:
• Macadamia nuts
If your pet has eaten any of these items, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.