Fireworks and cook-outs on the Fourth of July may be fun for humans, but not so for pets.
Independence Day brings risks for these animals, both inside and outside the house.
“I recommend not taking them to the party,” said Dr. Maria Diaz, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Coral Gables.
The bright colors and loud noises from firework explosions can cause confusion for dogs, even leading them to panic attacks. As a result, many run away.
“Typically, we do see an increase in our intake of stray dog pickups in days following the Fourth of July,” said Kathy Labrada, chief of operations and enforcement for Miami-Dade County Animal Services.
The best way to ensure pets are found quickly is making sure they wear an ID tag, she added.
To keep pets calm during the holiday commotion, Laurie Hossman, associate executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami, recommended distracting pets by turning on the TV and radio.
“Make it noisy inside your house so they don’t hear the noise outside,” she said.
Diaz recommended Benadril, whose drowsiness effects can help pets relax. The dose is a milligram per pound; a 25-pound dog, for instance, should receive an adult dose of the medicine, she explained.
Even storing pyrotechnics can be a hazard. Animals who lick or eat some of the toxic products may end up poisoned.
“You don’t want to leave any of that stuff lying around,” Hossman said.
During the holiday, an activity as seemingly harmless as feeding pets under the table could make them sick, said Diaz.
Feeding them fat-laden foods like hot dogs or hamburgers could lead to pancreatitis — inflammation of the pancreas — Diaz noted. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.