While Independence Day is a cause for celebration, it unfortunately can also be a dangerous time for pets as they may encounter hazards they are not usually be exposed to.

“We often see pets experiencing everything from burns, to ingesting toxic substances, to anxiety related injuries and even heat exhaustion,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care.

He recommends these tips to help keep your pet safe this Independence Day:

· Pets can easily spook when fireworks are set off. If your pet is susceptible to anxiety caused by loud noises, make sure they are kenneled or in a safe place. 

· With guests coming and going, make sure doors are shut. During holidays, veterinarians often see an uptick in hit-by-car related injuries due to doors being left open by guests. 

· Keep trash covered and pet-proofed. Substances that are okay for humans to consume can be toxic to pets. 

· With fires, cooking and fireworks, a pet could potentially be burned. 

· If a pet is burned, do not apply any types of cream, ointment, butter or margarine. These substances can introduce bacteria into the burned area.

· If it is a mild burn, you can cool the area with cool water, but contact your veterinarian.

· For severe burns, you can cover the wound with a clean, sterile cloth, but most importantly, get the pet to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately. 

· To help prevent pets from experiencing heat exhaustion, keep them in an air conditioned area and limit strenuous activities when outdoors. 

· Always make sure your pet has plenty of access to fresh water. 

· If you notice heavy panting, your pet may be overheating. You can spray them down with room temperature or cool water. Never use ice cold water or ice, as this can increase the chance of hypothermia.

Don’t forget that some of the foods people enjoy could harm or even kill pets! 

Alcohol, avocado, caffeine, chives, chocolate, coffee, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions and raisins, can all be potentially hazardous if consumed by pets. If your pet has ingested any of these items or is displaying signs of distress, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.