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Some of Summer's Pet Dangers May Surprise You

As the Fourth of July rolls around and summer hits full stride, many look forward to a wide range of seasonal fun, from fireworks to barbeque, pool parties and more.

None of these are inherently bad for pets, but they can involve potential dangers—some very surprising.

Fireworks and More

Most pet owners are aware of the potential threat from fireworks. Some pets are positively terrorized by the loud noises and (if nearby) flashes from fireworks. What’s dangerous is that some pets (and there’s often no way to know in advance) will be so frightened they’ll bolt from a backyard or house, trying to flee. This can occur at unexpected times, too. Taking a normally calm dog, cat or other pet for a car ride or walk might be postponed until things quiet down.

Loud noises aren’t the only firework danger, however. Even small, seemingly harmless pyrotechnics can be dangerously hot and a curious pet can receive a severe burn all too easily. And carefully placing used fireworks in a bucket of water is a good idea, but make sure your pet can’t get to this container. Drinking from the water (or ingesting fireworks any other way) can produce serious poisoning because of chemicals they may contain. Pets can experience vomiting, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Pets may even suffer tremors or seizures, acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, trouble breathing and jaundice.

Pet Proof Barbeque?

Independence Day celebrations can also entail other summer season dangers. Barbeques, outdoor parties and other activities are traditional summer highlights that don’t always have the same results for pets and people. For example, alcoholic beverages can poison pets. In severe cases, death from respiratory failure is even possible. Other summer substances that may hold threats for pets include sunscreen and inspect repellent. The same goes for products like citronella candles or insect repellent “coils.” Like alcoholic drinks, they should be kept out of pets’ reach.

Barbeques offer unique pet threats. Most animals will avoid the intense heat of a grill but could accidentally come into contact when inspecting something new or if attracted by food. Matches and lighter fluid are also potentially dangerous because of the chemicals they contain. And remember that foods such as avocado, onions, chocolate, coffee, grapes or raisins, salt and yeast dough can be toxic to pets. Even something that’s seemingly harmless like corn on the cob can become a big problem if a dog tries to wolf one down.

Keep 'Em Cool

In many areas, July 4 heralds the beginning of some of the season’s warmest weather. Don’t let all the fun and activity let to forgetting a pet’s water and shade needs. Healthy humans can often tolerate warm weather better than a furry pet, who’s ability to dissipate heat is actually less than many people’s.

There’s a lot more, of course, but this covers enough to get you started!