Labor Day is right around the corner and Cancer Veterinary Centers wants to remind our pet families of some basic safety tips for your pets during this holiday weekend. We have many festivities and food that we will be enjoying on Labor Day, but that can be harmful to our pets. Here are a few reminders of how you can keep your pets safe, happy and healthy during our Labor Day festivities:

Living in Florida, many head to the waterways on boats or to the beach on Labor Day. When taking your dog along with you, be sure they have a life jacket on. This could save their life in the water. Always keep a close watch on them in or around a boat or on the beach. It is easy to get distracted and lose sight of your pet. Taking your dog to the beach should be limited to two hours with breaks from the saltwater every 30 minutes. Ingesting too much saltwater can be poisonous and deadly to your dog. It is important to give your dog plenty of fresh water to drink.

Labor Day usually means festivities outside in the Summer heat. Our pets can get dehydrated very quickly, so it is important for them to have plenty of water and shaded areas to rest in if they are outside with you. Be sure you keep them off of areas that have hot asphalt.

With outside activities, we tend to use products like sunscreen, bug repellant spray and/or citronella candles. All of these items are harmful to your pet. Insect repellant contains DEET which is a chemical that can cause neurological issues in animals. Only use sunscreen or insect repellant specifically made for animals on your pet.

Grilling out on Labor Day is a tradition! Barbequing requires many things that can be harmful to pets such as grilling tools, lighter fluids, matches. Any of these things can be very harmful if your pet ingests them.

Now for your plate of food…it is always very tempting to share your food with your pet and though they would enjoy that too, many human food items can be toxic to animals. Chocolate, sugar, sweetners (like xylotil), grapes, raisins, onions are just to name a few that can be harmful to your pet. Also, alcohol is a No-No! The ASPCA has a full list of people foods to avoid giving your pet on their website. View it by clicking on the link:

Another fun tradition for Labor Day is fireworks. We love to watch those beautiful bursts of color in the dark skies, but our pets don’t appreciate them like we do! The loud noises that come along with them can be very terrifying to our pets. Each year, many pets go missing during this time from their fear of loud noises. Also keep in mind that fireworks at home also can be hazardous to our pets as they contain toxic chemicals that can be deadly. Like people, keep them away from lit fireworks to avoid burns. Keep your pet safe from the noise inside where they cannot escape.

If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic or harmful, contact your veterinarian, your local 24 hour Emergency Veterinary Hospital or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at their 24 hour hotline (888) 426-4435.