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Top Five Fourth of July Hazards for Dogs

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Pet experts wanting to get a little free publicity share some Independence Day safety tips spent the last couple days flooding our inboxes with reminders on how to keep your dogs sane this holiday.

Here are some of the hazards to avoid:

See also: -14 Best Fourth of July Parties in Metro Phoenix -10 Places to See Fourth of July Fireworks in Metro Phoenix

Cookouts

You've invited a family, a few friends and the nice neighbors over for a festive backyard cookout. Remind them that no matter how much your pooch begs, table food -- especially onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, and salt -- can all be potentially toxic.

Experts say that any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. Older animals are more susceptible to digestive problems.

Dog Accessories

Traditional 'kerchiefs and flag-printed bandanas? Perhaps a little embarrassing -- some dogs wear them better than others -- but relatively hazard free. But keep the glow sticks and sparklers away from the dogs. The luminescent substance contained in the glowing plastic is not highly toxic, but could still cause problems such as excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from chewing the stuff or swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

The Giant Water Bowl

The swimming pool might seem like a good place to let your dog cool off, but it can actually put them at risk for heat stroke.

Kathryn Miller, an emergency veterinarian at Emergency Animal Clinic, says that while the water keeps the external body temperature down, constant exertion of energy can drive up the internal temperature to dangerous levels.

And, she recommends always rinsing pets off with fresh water after swimming or splashing, as the chlorine, salt and bacteria in pools and other bodies of water can be harmful.

Booze

Don't leave alcoholic beverages where pets can lap 'em up because they can potentiality poison your pooch. And, experts say that, if ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated, weak and severely depressed. So basically, what happens to humans.

In extreme cases, some dogs might go into a coma or experience respiratory failure.

Fireworks

On the ground: You can find sparklers, firecrackers, and other potentially finger-eliminating devices just about everywhere. And if you want to risk your own fingers, fine. But for heaven sake, don't aim them at your dog. And, if you know your kids are shifty troublemakers, make sure you keep track of your poor pets.

In the sky: Not all dogs handle explosions in the sky as well as this little guys seems to. It's suggested that you keep your pet inside a quiet and isolated room, like a bathroom, where there are no windows, to make sure your he or she feels safe. Maybe turn on a fan or a radio to mask the ear-popping booms.

Some animal experts counsel that if your dog behaves nervously and starts pacing or whining, distract him instead of trying to reassure him by stroking or petting him. The latter actually can reinforce your pet's anxious behavior, the ASPCS notes.

Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Monica Alonzo on Twitter at @MAD_Blogger.

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