Labor Day is fast approaching, and many of us are looking forward to a long weekend full of block parties, barbeques and soaking in the last few drops of summer sun.
We know you’ll agree that holidays are much more fun when we celebrate with the four-legged members of our family, but pet parents should note that many beloved Labor Day festivities and foods can be downright dangerous to our animal companions. So this weekend, as you say goodbye to summer, keep your pets happy and healthy with these safety tips in mind:
Mind the dog days of summer. It may be September, but the weather is still hot, hot, hot. Animals can become dehydrated quickly, so be sure your pets are getting plenty of water over the weekend—especially if they’ll be enjoying the holidays outdoors. Make sure your pet has a shady place to escape the sun, and avoid letting your pup linger on hot asphalt. Your dog’s body can heat up quickly and sensitive paw pads can get burned.
Stash the sunscreen—and the bug spray, too. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in serious problems for pets, including drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy, while the misuse of insect repellents that include the chemical DEET can lead to neurological problems. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of pets’ reach, too. And never apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.
Grilling? Keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which can damage blood cells and result in breathing difficulties or even, in severe cases, kidney disease if ingested. Lighter fluid can be irritating to the skin and, if ingested or inhaled by a curious pup, can produce gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system depression and aspiration pneumonia.
Leave the treats to the humans. Labor Day is the perfect time for backyard barbeques—and the tasty treats that come with them. While it may be tempting to serve your pup some scraps from the grill, remember that any changes to your pet’s diet can result in severe digestive ailments. Keep them away from raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and sugar-free products made with the sweetener xylitol, as these holiday favorites are toxic to pets—and never leave alcoholic beverages unattended where your pet can reach them.
Celebrating Lakeside? Buy your dog a life jacket—and use it. If you’ll be boating or spending time by the beach, lake or pool, never leave your pets unsupervised around the water. Just like with people, it’s easy for your pup to develop a cramp in her leg while swimming, become exhausted too far from shore or get overwhelmed by tides. Please consider purchasing a life jack for your dog. It’s easy to become distracted, and a life jacket can save her life.
Fireworks and pets don’t mix. Loud noises like the ones caused by fireworks can be frightening for pets. In fact, one in five pets goes missing after being scared by loud noises. In addition, exposure to lit fireworks can result in severe burns or trauma, and many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances like potassium, nitrate and arsenic that can be deadly when ingested. Keep your little ones calm and safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
Nothing says “Independence Day” like sunshine, fireworks and barbecues. But while it may seem like a great idea to include your pets in these fun festivities, it’s important for all pet parents to beware of potential dangers caused by this holiday. In fact, lots of common picnic foods are toxic to animals, and nearly one in five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks!
To help you and your four-legged friends have a petriotic Fourth, we’ve put together some key tips to ensure a safe holiday:
Should your pet go missing on the Fourth or any time of year,the ASPCA mobile app is here to help. Utilizing the latest field research, this free tool provides a personalized pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. Pet parents can also use the app to access critical advice, store vital medical records and build a “lost pet” digital flyer for instant sharing.
As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors. But whether you’re partying, barbequing, or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind at all times. To prevent any Memorial Day mishaps, we’ve put together some tips to help protect animals during the “Dog Days” of the season.
Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.
Be Cool Near the Pool
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.
Skip the Spray
Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of pets escaping. Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or both. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Opt for a Humane Holiday
Everyone loves a Memorial Day barbecue, but for those who eat meat, eggs or dairy, avoiding the worst factory-farmed products can be tricky. For help making the most compassionate choices this holiday (and all year long!), be sure to reference our humane picnic tips.
This Mother’s Day, the ASPCA Adoption Center is offering various adoption specials in the hopes of finding special moms (or dads) for our many adorable cats and dogs in search of loving homes. If you have two-legged or four-legged kids at home already, or you’re considering adopting, now is a great time to expand your family!
From Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 17, we’ll be offering the following adoption specials:
Cats older than 1 year will have their adoption fee waived
Kittens younger than 1 year are “AOGO,” or, adopt one kitten and the second kitten has no adoption fee
Dog adoption fees are reduced by 50%
All adopters will receive a free custom-engraved heart shaped ID tag
All cats will go home with a free cardboard carrier
All dogs will receive a free collar and leash
As always, all pets are vaccinated, spayed/neutered and microchipped
Not in the New York City area? Visit our Adopt section to find adoptable dogs and cats in your local shelter. Thanks for making pet adoption your first option!
While there are many differences between being a pet parent and parenting a child, we think there are some similarities, too. Here are some of the adorable dogs and cats at our Adoption Center who would love to be your furkid.
As we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we’ll reflect on the way our moms inspire us, love us and cheer us on. But before we do, we’d like to pause to remember that for millions of puppies nationwide, the word “mom” is nothing but a distant memory.
Every day, thousands of puppies are born into large, substandard breeding facilities commonly known as puppy mills. They're pulled away from their mothers, sometimes after just eight weeks, and sold into the commercial dog market. After little-to-no recovery time, the mother dogs are forced to breed again. When they can no longer reproduce, they are often abandoned or killed.