Oh, July 4th… while we humans look forward to barbecues and fireworks, it remains a day that many of our precious pups dread. The houseguests, hot temperatures, and noisy bottle rockets can drive some dogs into a panic. On top of that, my dogs usually won’t use the yard to relieve themselves between the hours of about 6pm until whenever the big bangs are over which can be anywhere from 1-4am. But still, they’d much rather hold it than go outside.
More than being uncomfortable, July 4th is the day more than all others during the year that dogs get lost. It’s also a day that many dogs get injured.
Here are a few must-know safety tips to protect your dog this Independence Day:
Getting Lost: As mentioned above, July 4th is the worst day for dogs getting lost. The loud fireworks scare many dogs and that combined with have company over and distracted owners, is a recipe for disaster. The top three breeds that run away are Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas and the Pit Bulls. Above all, make plans for your dog before guests arrive. Try to keep him in a gated area where he can see people but cannot get out. Or if she is an anxious type, consider keeping her in a quiet, but cool bedroom and make it a point to check on her regularly (or have a family member take on this task).
Better Safe Than Sorry: Just for added insurance, place the proper identification tags on your dog that list their name, your name and address and phone number.
Barbecue: Every pup loves a bite of a hot dog or hamburger but too much will leave your doggie with one unhappy and possibly sick tummy. Ask guests to not feed your dog. If you want share some of the goods, give them a bite-sized portion or two. (Check out 10 Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat.)
Alcohol: Simply keep your dog away from it. Drinking too much can cause alcohol poisoning, coma, and death.
Burns: It’s not a good idea to give your dog (or your kids for that matter) free roam of the yard when the grill is on. Burns can happen in an instant.
Fireworks: If your dog is afraid of fireworks, place them in a closed off (cool) room and turn up the TV or radio to drown out the noise until the explosives are over. And even if you or your guests do any small fireworks or sparklers, keep your dog inside. That is precisely when dogs can get burned and also run away.
Poisonous Products: Keep matches, citronella candles, bug sprays, sunscreens, and lighting fluid out of your dog’s reach. They can all cause serious health problems for your pup.
Home, Safe and Sound: Firework celebrations are absolutely no place for pets. Do not take them with you to any fireworks display. They are way better off at home.