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Keep pets safe this Labor Day weekend

Labor day is a celebration of summer. It’s the last BBQ gathering, pool party, weekend get-away before summer slips into fall and dives into the depths of winter. Although the weather is still warm and leaves and grass remain we know that this pattern will not last. So as we celebrate the last tendrils of summer with a final summer party- we need to remember that our furry friends are exposed to the numerous hazards that come with celebrations, fireworks and recreation. The following are a few Labor Day pet safety tips to help keep your pet safe and free from trips to the veterinary emergency room.Keep your pet in a safe area. Anytime visitors or friends are entering and leaving, you run the risk of a pet escaping. Cats especially can be prone to fleeing the assumed dangers of strangers. A pet that has escaped can become lost or even worse- hit by a car. Designate a safe spot for your pet in a room or another enclosed area and make sure visitors know a pet is in there by attaching a sign to their location. If you don’t want to lock your pet(s) up make sure your pet’s id and license is current and they are microchipped. Another option is to assign a pet guardian such as a friend or family member to keep an eye on your pets.

Food dangers. Dogs and cats are notorious foodies. They can stealthily slip pieces of food that can wreck havoc on their digestive system later. The most commonly known toxicities for dogs include chocolate, raisins, bread, avocados and chewing gum yet wrappers, leftover bones and juice soaked string can expedite a trip to the veterinary emergency room. Cats can become dangerously anemic if they eat onions, garlic or certain types of flowers such as lilies. Finally, be aware of human medications and ask guests to keep any medications in a safe place away from pets.

Guest interactions. Not everyone is an animal person and it is important to remember this when planning your festivities. If your dog is extra sociable they could alarm people who lack experience with animals. Children especially may not know how to act around dogs or cats. Monitor how guests react to your pet and how your pet reacts to them.

Dangers of heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when an animal overheats internally because they cannot appropriately cool themselves after their internal body temperature rises. The signs of heat stroke are rapid panting, glazed eyes and listlessness. Avoid excessive activity with your pet during the heat of the day and do not leave your dog in a parked car even if it is only for a few minutes.