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State Farm Public Affairs,
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More dogs go missing on the 4th of July than on any other day of the year — and many of those dogs never make it home. July 4 can also be a perilous time for dogs and other pets because of the new foods, chemicals and toys that might be introduced to the house on this festive occasion. Like all holidays, the 4th of July is for humans — not dogs. Remember that what’s fun for you can be scary for them.
State Farm wants you and your pets to be safe this 4th of July. Here are some safety tips:
- Don’t put insect repellant on your pet that isn’t specifically for pet use. The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals.
- Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
- Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
- Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
- Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
- Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
- Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression.
- Never use fireworks around pets! Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
- Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, who can become frightened or disoriented by the sound. Resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape.
- Keep your pets’ IDs up to date! It’s a good idea for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information.
- Be sure you have a picture of your pet. Take a selfie with your pet and store it on your phone.