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Labor Day Weekend and Your Pup

Labor Day weekend is here, summer's last hurrah with picnics, block parties, bargecues and final swims of the year. Such fun for us and such fun for any pup who is invited.

But it is still summer, so here's a last heads up on summer safety.

If there is an Indian summer in the next few weeks, do not forget our 11 tips to beat the heat from protecting those paws to misting the air to sunscreening noses. Know the signs of heat stroke and what to do.

Remember the chemicals that in our sunsceen or bug spray are ofent toxic. The most prevalent is DEET which can lead to serious neurological problems. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of pets’ reach, too. And neverapply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.

Guard the grill. Ah, it smells so good. And it is so hot.

You want to keep your four-legged friends away from the food, but you also want to be sure to keep them away from the tools involved in barbecuing. Make sure you keep matches and lighter fluids out of someone's curious reach. Some matches contain chlorates, which can damage blood cells and result in breathing difficulties or even, in severe cases, kidney disease if ingested. Lighter fluid can be irritating to the skin and, if ingested or inhaled by can produce gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system depression and aspiration pneumonia. Oh my!

Keep your eye on your plate. It may be tempting to spoil pup with scraps from the grill, but that any changes to your pet’s diet could result in severe digestive ailments. If you have a cast-iron-tummy pup, be sure anything you share is cool first.

Keep pups away from raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and sugar-free products made with the sweetener xylitol, as these holiday favorites are toxic to pets.

Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended where your pet can reach them. I've seen a pup who accidentally got drunk lapping up alcoholic watermelon juice and it was not pretty.

Life jackets can be life-savers. If you are lakeside or by the pool, remember, life jackets aren’t just for humans. If you’ll be boating or spending time by the water, never leave your pets unsupervised. Just like with people, it’s easy for your pup to develop a cramp in her leg while swimming, become exhausted too far from shore or get overwhelmed by tides. Don’t forget about the fireworks. In some places they are part of summer's last hurrah. Fireworks and pets just don’t mix. Loud noises, like the ones caused by fireworks, can be very frightening for pets—in fact, many pets go missing after being scared by loud noises. Since these fireworks are generally "amateur" it will be up to you to avoid exposure to lit fireworks which can result in severe burns or trauma. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances like potassium, nitrate and arsenic that can be deadly when ingested. Keep your pet pals calm and safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area.

This has been an absolutely great summer. We at Brooklyn Bark wish you a fantastic Last Hurrah this weekend.

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