Pets and Fireworks: What You Need to Know

POISONOUS TO: Dogs and cats
TOXICITY LEVEL: Generally mild to moderate, depending on the amount ingested
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Shallow breathing
  • Jaundice
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Bone marrow changes

Fireworks are dangerous to pets in several ways. First, the loud noise of fireworks (during July 4th holidays) can result in severe stress, fear, and anxiety. Secondly, when unused fireworks are ingested, they are poisonous to pets. Fireworks contain hazardous chemicals such as potassium nitrate, which is an oxidizing agent. They can also contain charcoal or sulfur and coloring agents, which are potentially dangerous heavy metals. When ingested, pets can develop gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, a painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhea. The severity of pet health issues resulting from ingestion will depend on the type of fireworks and the amount that was ingested. Pets ingesting large amounts can suffer tremors or seizures, along with acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, shallow breathing and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin.

Also, exposure to lit fireworks can result in burns to the nose, face, lips, or inside of the mouth, as well as eye irritation and conjunctivitis. When in doubt, never let pets near fireworks – unlit or lit!

Post courtesy of the Pet Poison Hotline.

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