Keeping Furry Friends Safe During July 4th Festivities

The beginning of July can be a very tough time for pets. Many Saint Louisans get an early start on Independence Day celebrations with their own fireworks and even gunfire! These loud noises can send cats and dogs into a state of panic that often lead them to crash through screens, jump a fence or find another method of escape.100_2320_sizedBransonThere are ways to make July 4th safer and less stressful for pets. It starts with keeping your pet inside as much as possible before and after the holiday. In some extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers to help your pet.

It is smart to take pets out on a leash in the in the early evening, well before nightfall, to avoid noisy fireworks. Please do not take a dog to watch a large community or commercial firework display. This only increases the chances of a pet becoming lost in an unfamiliar area. Keep furry family members safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

The Fourth of July and grilling go hand and hand. It may seem like a great idea to reward pets with scraps from the grill. In reality, some festive 4th foods and products can be hazardous to your pets. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.

DSCN1632BucaneerStateParkJuly 4th trips or any summer outing with your dog may tempt you to help them share your outdoor coping kit. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.


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Is Your Pet a Pollen Magnet? Tips for Dog Lovers with Allergies

My dogs are normally white, but after a spring romp they often have a yellow tint due to pollen clinging to their long fur. The pollen prompts sneezes from both pups and me.

Saint Louis can be a tough place to live with allergies. A former number one worst allergy city, Saint Louis is now ranked as the nation’s twentieth most challenging city for those who suffer with allergies.

Pollen sensitivities do not have to keep pets and the people who love them inside. There are a few strategies to use to enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend and avoid pollen.

• Consider giving dogs with long coats a haircut as weather begins to warm. This will be more comfortable and pick up less pollen and other debris outside.

• Wipe pet down with animal wet wipes after every visit outside. Wipe from head to tail because pollen can stick to faces, fur, tails and paws!

• If there is a lot of pollen on your pet, a rinse in the shower may help. Use less pet shampoo or none at all, if you need to do this a lot.

• Consider treating pets to more frequent brushes to get any pollen out of their fur if there is someone available not sensitive to pollen to lend a hand.

• Following pollen forecasts can help you choose the best route to walk your dog to reduce exposure. If the pollen count is particularly high, consider postponing your walk or playing with your dog inside instead. In general, all types of plants favor warm, sunny days for releasing pollen, and they tend not to do it during rainy weather. Rain also washes residual pollen out of the air.

• Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling and sneezing as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.