The Fourth of July Can Be a Dangerous Time For Pets

Jun 27, 2013, 15:29 ET from Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Independence Day is one of the most celebrated times of the year and is fun for the whole family. Barbecues, parades, and fireworks are just a few of the ways many people like to celebrate with family and friends, but if your family includes pets, some of the most common sources of fun can be frightening or even dangerous.

Backyard barbecues can potentially pose significant threats to pets. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended or within reach of pets. Depending on the size of the pet, poisoning can occur quickly and can cause intoxication, weakness, depression, respiratory failure, and even coma. Also beware of all the picnic food. Many human foods – even some fruits and vegetables – can be toxic. Not only do you need to keep your pet out away from the buffet table, but make sure friends and neighbors aren't feeding them from their plates.

Fireworks – whether in the yard or at a community display – can cause panic in pets, especially in a crowd. Even if you're just lighting a few in the backyard, make sure your pet is safely inside and not in an area where they can escape or run away. Likewise, keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. Some matches contain damaging chlorates and lighter fluid is irritating to the skin and if swallowed.

For more tips on Fourth of July safety, download our fact sheet at

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional organization of over 2,200 veterinarians from across the Commonwealth. The association, which was established in 1883, strives to advance animal welfare and human health while ensuring the vitality of the veterinary profession. PVMA's website is available at

SOURCE Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)