July 4th – We’re Closed, But Here’s A Story

Hello, and welcome to “A Very Convoluted Way To Remind You To Be Careful With Your Pet On This Holiday”. Here is a short story to get us started.

Its 2pm on July 4th. You are at your uncle’s apartment in Chelsea, celebrating the great American holiday with family. The sun is hot on your face as you sample the Sangria. Your free hand reaches for a turkey leg… or should you try the brisket? Deciding on the turkey leg, you turn and see Aunt Eileen walking by, chewing her sugar-free gum. Man, her and that gum, you think. To your left is your friend Dan, who is way too excited for everyone to try his brownies. “Dan, calm down,” you say between turkey bites, “We just got here.” Man, that guy is crazy. As you turn back to help yourself to some more Sangria, you’re nearly shocked out of your skin by a set of fireworks that have just gone off. Dan again! Wow, he moves quick. With a chuckle, you settle yourself back into the hunt for food. Garlic mashed potatoes? Yes please. Guacamole? Don’t mind if I do. AH! A quick burst of water hits your leg, and you look to see that someone has somehow set up a slip and slide in the four seconds that you have been turned away. You hear his laugh and realize that it was him again… Dan. Okay, you think, this Dan thing is getting weird. You are starting to realize that Dan just might not be human…

What is this story about? A run-of-the-mill holiday celebration that slowly evolves into a shocking revelation about the not-so-humanness of your best friend? Well, yes. But it’s also about so much more. I want you to read this story again. Try and ignore it’s strong potential for blockbuster success, and instead focus on how many potential pet dangers are listed. Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Done? Great. Did you find around 5? Great. Here are some of them:

  1. Hot sun. This is a big one. Often we are completely consumed by our fun party and fail to realize that our pet is having trouble regulating their temperature. Just having access to water isn’t enough: make sure that your pet also has somewhere they can go to cool down, whether it be indoors or in the shade.
  2. Wine/Alcohol ingestion. Monitor your pet and make sure they aren’t getting into any cups or cans on the ground.
  3. Animal Bones/foreign body ingestion. If you are going to feed your pet table scraps, keep them to a minimum to reduce the chances of pancreatitis. The more food and the more fatty, the greater the risk of an upset stomach. And of course, ingesting a bone or anything too large to pass through the digestive tract will warrant an immediate visit to an emergency veterinarian.
  4. Xylitol/Chocolate/Garlic/Avocado ingestion, general toxicity.  If you believe that your pet has ingested anything toxic, (here is a good overview) note the amount ingested and bring her to a veterinarian immediately.
  5. Loud noises/Fireworks (scared into fleeing, or injured). Something we often don’t consider is how our pet may react in a moment of extreme fear. A normally calm dog can suddenly flee when faced with a loud noise, such as that of a firework. Keep your pets secured and away from loud noises.

Overall, there is much fun to be had on this holiday and your pet should be able to have it with you. Just keep a close eye on her!


written by Lauren Gamiel, Veterinary Assistant





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