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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
Curious pets may stumble into dangerous territory this 4th of July holiday.
Veterinarians see an uptick in emergency visits this time of year due to exposure to fireworks and food that would ordinarily be off-limits to pets.
Prevention is always better than first aid, so experts believed pet owners should keep their animals away from any area where fireworks are stored or lit. Some pets try to chew on or eat fireworks, which can be toxic and deadly.
Burns are also a common form of pet injury around Independence Day. If a furry friend does happen to suffer a burn, experts offer these tips:
-Never put any type of cream, ointment or butter on your pet's burn. Substances like this can introduce bacteria into the burn.
-If the burn is mild, cool the area as soon as possible with cool water and call your vet.
-Never use ice to treat a pet burn. It increases the chance of hypothermia.
-If a burn is more severe, cover it with a sterile cloth and get the pet to a vet as soon as possible.
In addition to the burn itself, injured animals may not behave as usual because they are in pain or afraid.
Aside from burns, vets see an increase in vomiting, diarrhea and heat exhaustion. Always make sure your pet has enough water, especially if they are spending time outside.
They advise pets may be afraid of the sound of fireworks, so don't be surprised if they act differently. Loud noises and larger groups of people than they normally see could cause them anxiety.
Party food is also off-limits for pets. Vets said you should make sure your pets do not have access to the following as they can cause health complications: alcohol, avocado, caffeine, chives, chocolate, coffee, garlic, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts or onions. If they happen to get a hold of any of these "human foods," call your vet immediately.