Picnic and Party Safety for Pets

As the Fourth of July rolls around, and the deep days of summer along with it, you may be taking your pet with you to a family picnic or party. Keep them safe with these tips from a Cedar Park veterinary professional.

Avoid Table Scraps

Other family members or guests might be tempted to feed your dog or cat fatty table scraps or even bones as treats. Make sure everyone knows not to give Fluffy a bit of the barbecue—too much foreign food can upset your pet’s stomach, and bones can splinter apart, presenting a puncturing hazard for your pet. If necessary, keep your pet secured in a cage or in a back room while your guests enjoy the festivities.

Forego the Goodies

Human treats, like chocolate, baked goods, and candy, are big no-no’s for pets. Most pet owners know that chocolate of all types is toxic to animals, but did you know that many baked goods, candies, and gum containing artificial sweeteners are highly poisonous as well? Don’t let your pet anywhere near these treats, and store them safely away in sealed containers.

Watch the Cocktails

Alcohol affects pets the same way it affects us, but it takes only small amounts of it to do severe damage. Even small amounts of wine, liquor, beer, or champagne can wreak havoc on a pet’s systems, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, uncoordinated movements, seizures, and worse. Don’t leave alcoholic beverages unattended, and don’t let any picnic-goer slip something to your animal companion.

Safe in the Sun

If your pet is going to be spending a while in the hot sun, provide plenty of cool fresh water to keep him hydrated, and make sure there is a shady spot nearby for him to cool off under. You might consider purchasing a pet-safe sunscreen to apply for the hot, sunny days.

Swimming Safety

Perhaps you’ll be taking your dog on a quick dip in the family pool, or having a picnic near a public lake. Keep in mind that not all dogs can swim, and even those that can should be closely supervised. Call your Cedar Park veterinarian for further advice on swimming safely with your pet.

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