Happy Fourth of July! Everyone at Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) hopes you have a great day celebrating this important holiday. We hope we'll see you at Friday's parade!

July Fourth is a great day for people, but not so for pets. Pets' very sensitive ears don't like the noise from crowds and fireworks. Their sensitive tummies can get upset from too many pieces of barbecue or sweets. And lots of strange people partying in their space can sometime be overwhelming.

Here are some tips from the ASPCA to keep your pets safe and happy as you enjoy this very special holiday.

  • Keep all fireworks away from pets! Exposure to lit fireworks can result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, and unused fireworks have toxic substances. Loud noisy fireworks are scary, so let your pets stay securely in your home while you enjoy the festivities.

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.

  • Apply sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.

  • Keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets' reach. Matches and lighter fluid are highly toxic to pets.


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  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. Keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. The luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, but excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

    Pet Of The Week: TORTORO is a beautiful silver tabby kitten, and just one of the many, many kittens available for adoption.

    Dog Alley: There are 14 available dogs at the Alameda Animal Shelter. ROSIE is a pretty black/white Lab mix that is super-friendly with everyone. She is about 4 years old. MAPLE is a calm and affectionate tan pit bull that is about 2 years old.

    Cat Lair: There are 25 available cats and kittens at the shelter. There are many adorable, sweet, cuddly kittens waiting for their forever homes. They are about 2 months old, and there are many different fur colors to choose from.

    RABBIT ROW: MARTIN is an agouti, and DULCE is a black New Zealander. CUBBY is a handsome brown rabbit, and SQUASH is a good-looking gray fellow. All of the rabbits have been neutered.

    Mim Carlson is executive director of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. Visit the shelter at 1590 Fortmann Way at Grand Street, call 510-337-8565 or visit www.alamedaanimalshelter.org to view the animals.