Tips to Make The Fourth Happy and Safe for Your Pets

Wishing All Our Family of Clients and Their Pets a Happy and Safe Fourth of July

Many of us will be celebrating Independence Day with backyard barbecues, drinks, and fireworks. While this can make for a fun holiday for neighbors, friends, and family, it can be bad news for your pet. While it may seem like a great idea to reward your pets with scraps from the grill and bring them along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where can pets can find them. Alcohol poisoning can lead to weakness, severe depression, and even coma.

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for animals. If placed on a part of the body that can be licked you could see drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Misuse of insecticides with a high concentration of DEET can lead to neurological problems if licked.

Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give pets severe indigestion and diarrhea, even pancreatitis. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

Don’t put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with them. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation can occur. Also intestinal blockage could occur from the soft plastic glow sticks. And speaking of intestinal blockage, one of the most common summer time foreign body ingestions are buttery corncobs pulled from the garbage by pets.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and even central nervous system depression.

Never use fireworks around pets!! It’s not just the burns and trauma to the face and paws, but unburned or dud fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to firework festivities. Before the loud celebrations begin, take your dog out for some vigorous exercise to burn up any pent up energy, then wind down with them and before you go out to celebrate, act casual and calm and get them “bedded down” with their favorite toys. The best location to keep your pets safe from the noise is in an interior escape-proof room and play some music to help cover the explosions.

For dogs who have a long track record of severe noise phobia, you can try compressive body wraps like the Thunder Shirt. When your pets are at risk of hurting themselves and damaging your home, our Doctors can prescribe rapid acting anti-anxiety medications to give your pet a couple hours before the booms start.


Many kennels and doggie day cares will be requiring Canine Flu vaccines this summer. The two strains of Canine Flu in the US are novel viruses that ALL DOGS WHO CONTACT IT WILL CONTRACT.

Social dogs who frequently go to day care, dog parks, or kennels should be immunized twice the first year, then annually. Many of our local doggie daycares and kennels have imposed a time deadline by which your dog must be immunized. To assist our clients’ compliance, if your pet has had a wellness exam within the past six months and is not obviously ill, a technician visit can be scheduled for the initial immunization and boost 2-4 weeks later.

Call our receptionists to set up a flu vaccine appointment.

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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