CHICAGO — Few things inspire more fear in pets than fireworks.
In preparation for the Fourth of July, professionals at the Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center, 3123 N. Clybourn Ave., have some tips on keeping your pet safe from toxic foods, falls, the heat, and of course, fireworks.
Walk your dog before dusk, the center recommends. Keep your pets away from windows and doors, and if necessary, on a leash. You can muffle the loud pops with music or TV. Giving out treats as positive reinforcement can help, and if necessary, your vet can prescribe anxiety medication.
Food that can be toxic to pets includes fatty meats like hot dogs, sausage and hamburgers, onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes and macadamia nuts. Corn, though small, can block a dog's air passages.
"Every year, Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center treats animals that fall from windows, balconies and decks — both cats and dogs," according to the center. Even three-flats can be dangerous, with cats or dogs jumping through open windows, screen or no.
Holiday backyard activities can lead to gates accidentally being left open by guests, so make sure to know where your pets are if they're out and about at your barbecue.
Never leave an animal unattended in a car, even for only a few minutes. Heat stroke can cause damage to organs and even death, according to the center. Pug-nosed and older and weaker animals are more at risk for the complications of heat stroke. Always make sure your pet has plenty of water in the summer.
Here are more tips from Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center veterinarian Jerry Klein: