cloudyn.png
Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 5:51AM

Big booms, unattended food create risky environment for pets

By Alyson Shields Reporter

The Independence Day holiday usually starts with a meal and ends with the bang of fireworks. However, with large, public displays canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, many people are creating their own fun.

But, what about the critters we call our companions, who may be jittery or nervous by the sounds?

"This may not be too pertinent, but leave your pet home," is the first rule for fireworks in veterinarian Dr. Marie Lance's book. She spoke on Mornings on Maine Street this week. "Don't take them to a fireworks show, that's just asking for a problem. Your pet doesn't understand that it's Independence Day."

Lance reminded pet owners that their pets' ears are highly sensitive and the smells, like fire and burning, can upset pets easily, as well as causing some respitory distress.

"Leave them inside, not in the backyard, because dogs become escape artists when they panic," Lance said. "There are more pets turned into shelters after the Fourth of July weekend because they have escaped what they feel like is a horrible event."

If your pet does manage to escape during the celebrations, 

Lance said make sure your pet has a tag with your information. She suggests at least your name and cell phone number. Better yet, make sure your furry friend is microchipped and the chip information is up to date.

For those who have crate-trained pets, Lance encourages using the crate and creating a comfortable space. "Give them their den, give them their safe place, give them their chew toy of a Kong with peanut butter, put them in a quiet room."

She warned that if your pet is not crate trained, now is not the time to try it out. "You may have to consult with your veterinarian with some chemical help to try and get your pet to be calm." 

If you must bring them to a picnic, gathering or other event, try to get them home and secured before the fireworks start, Lance suggested. She also encouraged the use of pet-safe sunscreen and bug repellent, and not to assume the human versions would be an acceptable substitute.

Whether or not you are chosing to imbibe during your gathering, Lance said to watch out for snouts seeking half empty cans, bottles and cups. "Pets can get up on picnic tables and alcohol is not good for them," Lance stressed. "Make sure you provide plenty of clean water for them to drink, don't let cousin Eddie slip the dog a beer on the side."

As tempting as it can be to let Fido or Fluffy have a holiday snack, Lance said table scraps are a big no-no, as are open trash containers.

"Unfortunately after the Fourth of July, we see a lot more corn cob obstructions on X-ray -it looks just like a corn cob - exactly. And those don't come through the other end, they come out through a hole we have to make. So let's avoid any type of obstruction surgery by making sure the trash is put in a safe place. And the same thing with bones that can cause pancreatitus, onion, garlic, raisins (grapes), chocolate, xylitol (artifical sweetner found in many chewing gums), just all the safety things we talk about every holiday."

Lance also said to remind children and adults alike not to share their glowsticks with pets. "Glowsticks, they're fun, but the dog doesn't need to eat them," Lance said. "They're not necessarily toxic, poisinous-toxic, but they can cause GI irritation and, again, obstruction."

Lighter fluid and matches seem unappealing, but Lance said some dogs will lick up the fluid or eat spent matches, and to keep those statshed away in a safe place.

And, it probably goes without saying, but Lance reminds pet owners not to be cruel, accidentally or otherwise, as firecrackers can lead to burns and expose pets to toxins.

"Never use fireworks when your pet is involved. It's the bad jokes, the 'oh, look, fetch' when you're throwing those things? Your dog doesn't know what's on the other end."

Another easy way to prepare for the Fourth is to make sure animal emergency contacts are active and available. 

"Where are you going to go if you're visiting, and I don't like to sound gloom and doom, but it's better to be prepared and not need it, than to be scrambling when you do need it. So know where the closest emergency veterinary hospital is."

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Lance by clicking the play button above.


Emergency Vets around North Georgia
AnEmerg - Gainesville/Hall County 
Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital - Lawrenceville/Gwinnett County 
North Georgia Veterinary Specialists - Buford/Gwinnett County 
Town and Country Veterinary Hospital - Mt. Airy/Habersham County 

Pet Poison Control
1-855-213-6680

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: pets, fireworks, Independence Day, Fourth of July, Dr. Marie Lance, Lance Animal Hospital
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Lula posts boil water advisory after water main break
A private contractor installing fiber cables in the Lula area Tuesday hit a water main, and the accident has impacted water supply for all water customers in the city.
4:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
Atlanta Mayor: No need for troops, despite governor's order
Atlanta's mayor says she doesn’t agree with the Georgia governor’s order to mobilize the National Guard in her city as a surge in violence became a political talking point
10:15PM ( 8 hours ago )
Tentative school calendar, parental-preference survey released by Hall Co. Schools
The Hall County School District on Tuesday evening released a tentative plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
8:00PM ( 11 hours ago )
Local/State News
Atlanta BBB: Be wary of purchasing pets from breeders during COVID-19 pandemic
As pet rescue organizations are having luck clearing the shelters and finding homes for pets in need during the novel coronavirus, the Atlanta office of the Better Business Bureau warned it can be trickier to find a purebred pet or one from a breeder during this time.
7:00PM ( 2 months ago )
Humane Society looking for short term fosters for the holidays
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is one of 100 shelter participating in a foster challenge in order to get adult dogs and cats some quality time in a home for the holidays.
2:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Atlanta-based nonprofit works to rescue pets from domestic violence statewide
As complicated as it is for victims to escape, and then to escape with children, many have pets that rely on them for care, or, that the victims themselves rely on: a pet that is simply loved deeply by the victim, or acts as support for a fearful victim, or one that children in the home have become dearly attached to.
8:45AM ( 8 months ago )
High risk shelter dog gets new 'leash' on life during Adopt a Dog month
October is a month of many meanings, one of which is Adopt a Dog Month. Potential pet owners are encouraged this month to find the dog of their dreams, usually from a rescue or shelter, and bring it home.
By Alyson Shields | Video: Joy Holmes
10:00PM ( 8 months ago )
Humane Society Northeast Georgia reaches 75k spay/neuter surgeries
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia performed their 75,000th spay/neuter surgery this week.
11:59AM ( 2 years ago )