by Leah Landau, Veterinary Technician at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Pet owners, would you like to save $6000-$8,000 this year?
Here are some dangers this holiday and how to keep your animals safe during the 4th:

1. They get hit by cars!
Keep them in a bedroom if you have to! Dogs and cats get FREAKED out by the noises & vibrations of fireworks. If family members are strolling in and out of the house, it’s a great recipe for your pet to escape, whether they are in a panic or not. They never escape you say? Better be safe than sorry.

2. They get foreign objects lodged in their stomach/intestines!
Yup, the dreaded foreign body-I’m talking to all of you puppy, Labrador, Golden, and Doodle owners out there. CORN COBS, chicken bones, TERIYAKI STICKS, baby binkies, rawhides, rope toys, pieces of nyla bone, kongs, and string and hair elastics in cats! I discharge 2-3 pets per shift that needed surgery. (Watch out for chocolate, too)

3. Heat Stroke!
Dogs are running around in the yard having fun? Make sure it’s not hot out. If so, try to avoid midday play from 10a-3p when it’s the hottest, & wait until the sun goes down. Take breaks often, even if it’s not hot, by putting them inside and giving them plenty of access to water. If you have a Bulldog, Pug, Puggle, Pekingese, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, or any other squish-faced dog-don’t even THINK about letting them chill outside most of the day-They should primarily be in the AC.
It’s not worth them dying. Even if they seem ok initially, you’d be shocked how heat can catch up with them.

It’s hot out, but you cracked your windows when you went on a quick errand? In this day and age, people aren’t going to put up with it. Unless your AC is blasting, and you have a sign on the window saying so, the cops will be called and you may wind up with shattered windows.

4. Pancreatitis!!
Pancrea-what? It is when your pet’s pancreas gets inflammed and angry. It is a serious condition (ppl get it too) and it’s not a joke. Hospitalization is required to manage this. Around the 4th, it is often related to your pets eating things with high contents of fat in them! Try not to let friends and family give them food without your permission-they won’t be footing the bill. Ex: lg amounts of hot dogs, pizza, ribs, fatty steak, sausage, etc.

5. Medication ingestion!
Having family staying over? Remind them to lock up their meds in child-proof bottles in hard-to-reach places. Liver and kidney damage from eating medications (ex: ibuprofen) is no laughing matter. Your pet could die.

Be safe! If you have ANY questions or concerns, do not ask a friend or “Dr. Google”. Neither of them are trained to give you accurate advice.

If your regular vet is closed, do not worry. Call a veterinary ER! Many are open 24 hours a day, and it doesn’t commit you to coming in.