news-julyAs the Fourth of July approaches, pet owners should bear in mind that many of the celebratory foods, drinks and events of the day can be hazardous to animals. To help keep pets safe and sound this Independence Day, the experts at Newtown Veterinary Specialists offer the following tips:

Never leave alcoholic drinks in reach of pets: If enough alcohol is consumed, pets could become intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of pets’ reach: Certain types of matches could potentially damage blood cells, which results in difficulty breathing. If ingested in high quantities, kidney damage can result. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin; if ingested it can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression.

Always keep pets on a normal diet: Cats and dogs have very sensitive stomachs that rely on a regimented and strict diet. Any change can give them severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Certain foods can be toxic to pets, including onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt, macadamia nuts, and yeast dough, for example.

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. Resist the urge to take pets to Independence Day festivities.  Keep them safe from the noise and chaos in a quiet, sheltered, escape-proof area at home.