Pet-safe July 4

Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA offers tips for pet-safe July 4

Submitted photo

As we begin to prepare for the Fourth of July, burgers will be cooking and the sights and sounds of beautiful fireworks loom in the waiting. Before everyone jumps up and hurries to their local grocery store, there are a few things we must keep in mind to keep our pets safe on celebration day.

Fireworks, though to the average person are a joy to “Ohhh” and “Ahhh” over, our pets don’t necessarily agree. An animal’s interpretation is probably that the world is coming to a very loud end and the bright lights are terrifying. The noise is worse than the vacuum cleaner on its last day of life as it screams, groans and moans around the house.

Help your pets understand that there is nothing to fear by sitting with them, or if you can’t do that, put them in a familiar room and play a radio to help drown out the noise. Shut the blinds or put heavier blinds over the windows to also help block out the array of sparkling lights shining in.

Fluffy and Max will be much happier when the festivities are over and they can resume their regular places to sleep and play.

In the Valley of the Sun we cherish our pools, but let’s not forget about Fluffy and Max who are wandering through the crowd of children and adults. It is our responsibility as pet owners to ensure that they have a safe way to escape the possible dangers of the pool.

Many dogs and cats can be taught, through repetition and training, where the pool steps are. Yes, cats can also fall victim to pool drowning, so if you have an outdoor cat pool steps can save their life, too.

There are pool steps and ramps made especially for your pet that attach to the side of the pool deck. The beauty of the Internet is there are multiple websites dedicated to selling these products, such as, and

As a suggestion I would recommend purchasing two of them, one for either side of the pool. Your pet won’t generally swim around the entire ledge in search of their steps. They instead will swim for what is in their line of vision and having two will ensure your pet’s safety all the more.

Food and alcohol consumption is fine for us humans, in moderation of course, but for Fluffy and Max they can be very deadly. Alcohol can cause coma and/or death for both dogs and cats. Please refrain from letting Max have just a sip of your adult beverage, he will thank you later.

A detailed list of all toxic food and beverages with symptoms can be found on the net as well at

Onions are highly toxic in all forms: Cooked and raw. After eating an onion it can take up to a few days to see the symptoms. Keep those onions far away from your counter surfers. A half-foot away from your counter top ledge is still within reach for the best counter surfers, trust me, I’ve met my fair share of professionals.

Fat trimmings, if you don’t want to put that in your body, don’t put it in your pet. Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis in your pet, which can also be lethal if acute. These are just a couple of examples that may be toxic or cause gastrointestinal upset in your pet, but there are many more including avocado, grapes, chocolate (darker is more toxic), caffeine, mushrooms, dairy products and salt.

If your pet is part of your festivities try to keep them away from where food is being consumed and prepared. Children can be careless and drop food without realizing it and Max and Fluffy are following them around just waiting for a morsel to fall on the ground.

A little knowledge and precaution can ensure that our animal and human friends have a safe and enjoyable day.

Cara E. Gettings is a student at Rio Salado College in the creative writing program. She works for The Animal’s Kingdom Pet Sitting Service. Reach them at (480) 551-0909.


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