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Posted on 05-14-2015

I came across this article, written by Daley Quinn,  in the June, 2015 edition of Family Circle.  It has some great advice about summer parties and keeping your pets safe.  Read on.....

   "After a long winter of chilly walks and minimal backyard playtime, surely your pet is psyched for summer.  But seasonal activities that are fun for humans - barbecues, pool parties, graduation celebrations - can be fraught for dogs and cats.  Remember these tips throughout the festivities and a good time will be had by all.

1. Beware of Toxic Foods. Cookout staple guacamole (specifically the avocados and onions) can be poisonous.  Bones, skewers and even corn cobs can get lodged in or damage the lining of the intestinal tract.  Remind guests not to feed your pets.

2. Guard the Grill. Animals will do anything to get their paws on a piece of meat, even snatching it off a flaming fire. They'll also be tempted to lick the fat that's dripped onto coals.  Rotate responsibility for watching the grill throughout the fiesta.  Afterward, let the charcoal cool, then wrap it in tinfoil and toss in the trash.

3. Minimize Loud Noises. If your cat or dog tends to get anxious around large groups of people or noisy crowds, find a haven inside your home where he'll feel safe.  During parties around the Fourth of July, avoid exposing him/her to fireworks - loud sounds can cause your pet to develop a lifetime of fear of thunderstorms. 

4. Use Caution Poolside.  Designate a family member to act as lifeguard. For extra security, show guests where the pet life vests are kept.  

5. Don't Ditch the Collar. Although your canine for feline should be tagged at all times, this is especially important at any packed gathering.  You certainly don't want an unsupervised, collarless dog or cat party-hopping down the street without ID.  (A microchip is also suggested!!)

(source Mary Schell, DVM, senior veterinary toxicologist at ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center)

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