We all adore our four-legged fur babies and we love to include them in our holiday festivities! Unfortunately, though our intentions are well, some holidays cause immense stress and are simply unsafe for our fur kids. The big one? 4th of July.

As a huge animal advocate, the safety of pets is extremely important to me. Below I've incorporated some helpful hints as to what not to do with your animals over the holiday weekend!

Keep The Alcohol AWAY From Pets

Never leave your alcoholic beverages unattended. Alcohol is extremely toxic to dogs, cats, etc. When ingested, your pet could become very ill, very fast. Fatigue, weakness, or even respiratory failure is possible.

Don't Apply Sunscreen or Insect Repellent on Your Pets

Unless the products say that it's animal safe, don't apply either of these on your pets. The use of sunscreen or insect repellent can quickly cause your fur baby to become lethargic, and could cause several neurological problems.

Keep Matches, Lighter Fluid, Oils, Fireworks, and Sparklers Out of Reach

These products contain chlorates, and other types of toxic metals which could easily cause damage to blood cells and can cause severe respiratory problems. If ingested, these products could cause kidney failure, gastrointestinal irritation and the numbing of the central nervous system. If inhaled, these products could cause difficulty breathing and in some cases, pneumonia.

Human Food...is Just That....Human Food!

I know it is difficult to resist those beautiful eyes looking up at you begging to be included in the food festivities! But, you're really doing your pet a huge favor. Any change from their normal diet can cause trouble with their digestive systems. This is especially true with older animals, who tend to have more sensitive digestive systems. Also - keep in mind that some foods are HIGHLY toxic to pets including, but not limited to: chocolate, pork, onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough. If you have any questions on what you can or can't feed your pet, check with your local vet OR check out some more information on the ASPCA website!

Never Use Fireworks Around Pets or Take Your Pets to Any Display!

While fireworks displays are a treasured and fun tradition for us, they tend to cause a significant amount of stress on animals! The noise of the fireworks can easily scare your pets and cause some trauma to them. Do them a favor and keep them indoors in a quiet, escape-free and sheltered environment.

It's definitely difficult to not include our fur kids in our 4th of July celebrations. But, remember, it's not a detriment to them. It's a huge favor.

**Written by TSM intern: Allison**