From the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services

Although the 4th of July is officially over, many of your neighbors might still be setting off fireworks over the holiday weekend, and this is a danger to your pets. While the loud noise can frighten animals, there’s even more to be concerned about, as fireworks can be toxic if ingested. Knowing more about this can mean the difference between life and death for our furry family members.

When unused or used 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.

In some cases, it can get worse.

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.

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, please take them immediately to your veterinarian to have them checked. If it’s after normal office hours for your regular veterinarian, don’t delay seeking treatment; go to the nearest animal emergency hospital. Make sure to inspect your yard for used fireworks, and dispose of their remains and clean up any soot or ash that may be left. Make sure to keep an eye on what you pet is eating, and supervise them if they go outside during fireworks season.