My dogs hate fireworks and I was just discussing what we are going to do with our dogs tomorrow night during all the fireworks. I will be working in the Urgent Care and my wife will be attending some 4th of July festivities with friends, so our dogs would be home alone. We will make accommodations so that they will not be alone. I came across an article that I thought was useful and timely regarding 4th of July safety tips for pet owners.
When celebrating with family and friends this 4th of July, remember that fireworks and some common barbecue foods can be hazardous to the well-being of pets.
Despite most firework shows being banned this year in Colorado due to fire dangers, fireworks will still be the biggest perpetrators of 4th of July issues for pets, the most common being pet noise phobias. The loud noises can cause fear and anxiety for pets of all kinds, including dogs and cats and even horses. It is best to keep dogs and cats a safe distance from the activity – indoors is best. For pets with severe noise phobias, a veterinarian can prescribe anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives to help ease the stress. Larger pets, like horses and other livestock, are extremely susceptible to noise phobias.
While most pet owners are aware of noise phobias, many are unaware that unused fireworks can be poisonous if ingested by curious dogs or cats. Many contain hazardous chemicals like chlorates, potent oxidizing agents that are harmful to red blood cells and kidneys; soluble barium salts that cause a life-threatening drop in potassium; sulfur; and coloring agents, which can contain dangerous heavy metals. Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, a painful abdomen and bloody diarrhea can result. The severity of the reaction will depend on the type of firework, the amount ingested and what type of coloring agents it contains. In severe cases, pets can suffer tremors or seizures, along with acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, shallow breathing and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).