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Animal Care Services

Animal Care Services Offers Fourth of July Tips for Pets


While the Fourth of July can be a great time to spend outdoors with friends and family, it can be a potentially dangerous and stressful time for animals. Bernalillo County Animal Care Services reminds pet owners and caretakers to keep their pets safe and secure during the upcoming holiday by taking these precautions:

  • Have traceable identification on your pet. As many animals are scared of loud noises, it is important to have identification on your pet in case they escape an enclosure or run away.
  • Do not take your pet to the fireworks. We cannot stress this enough: Fireworks shows and their accompanying crowds and loud noises are no fun for a pet, and can, in fact, be very stressful for a pet with super-sensitive hearing. Enjoy the show yourself, but please secure your animal in a quiet, sheltered, escape-proof area at home.
  • No fireworks at home, either. If you’re setting off fireworks at home, avoid using them around pets, as many contain potentially toxic substances. Lit fireworks can also result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets.
  • No glow jewelry! Glow-in-the-dark headbands and jewelry have become commonplace at fireworks events, but they should not be put on your pets – nor should you let your animals to play with or chew on these items. While the luminescent substance is not highly toxic, ingestion could cause gastrointestinal irritation or even intestinal blockage.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) also offers these suggestions for a safe holiday with your animal companions:

  • No alcohol! Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them, as they are potentially poisonous and could result in death from respiratory failure.
  • Pet sunscreens and repellents. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of these products can result in medical issues for your animal, including neurological problems. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach, too, as ingestion of these items can produce stomach irritation and even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in your pet.
  • Keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. If you’re barbequing, keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pet’s reach, just as you would do for a child. Inhalation or ingestion can cause problems ranging from skin irritation to breathing difficulty to kidney disease.
  • Maintain their diet! Sure, that barbeque smells great, but it’s best to keep your pets – especially older animals – on their normal diet to avoid indigestion and other digestive tract issues. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt, and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

For more information, contact Bernalillo County Animal Care Services at (505) 314-0281.

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