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Like many Americans, you may be planning a festive Memorial Day, complete with barbecue and fireworks.

Unlike people, dogs and cats won’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with a celebration. Fireworks will often cause panic and anxiety in companions. They  can panic at the sound of fireworks and flee into the night, often winding up lost, injured, or killed.

In order to prevent your celebration from turning into a tragedy, here are our top Memorial Day safety tips.

1. Keep your companion Indoors at All Times

It may seem obvious, but even if your furry friend is used to being outside, the resulting anxiety caused by fireworks or other loud noises may cause him or her to break their restraint or jump a fence in an attempt to find safety.

2. Use Companion-Friendly Insect Repellant and sunscreen

3. Don’t Give Dogs or Cats Alcohol

Alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. Just small amounts of alcohol can cause your companion to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.

4. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Furry Friend at Home

The safest place for your companion is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar, and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved companion freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking him or her in the car is also not an option; your companion may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.

5. Have Your Companion Properly Identified

Without proper identification it is extremely difficult to retrieve a lost animal. Consider fitting your dog or cat with microchip identification, ID tags with his or her name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your companion in case you have to put up signs.

6. Keep Your Companion Away from Glow Jewelry

It might look cute, but your furry friend could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”

7. Don’t Use Fireworks Near Dogs

8. Don’t Give Your Dog or Cat ‘Table Food’

If you are having a backyard barbecue, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your furry friend. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your companion. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt, and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.


The safest and best bet for celebrating this Memorial Day with your companions is to exclude them from festivities, at least this time around. Instead, find a safe, secure spot in the home for your furry friend while you go out and enjoy the loud bangs, bright lights, and spectator fun. Your companion will appreciate the quiet a lot more than you’ll enjoy the noise.

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