4th of July Safety (and Sanity-Saving) Tips for Dog Owners

American bulldog with U.S. Flag

The Fourth of July is a special day for both Americans and their pooches. Not only do they get to meet friends after a while, but they also get to flaunt some goodies and tricks they acquired since the last time they met. However, four-legged celebrators are susceptible to many dangers during this special day, which is why you need to be very careful while celebrating Independence Day. The following are ten important tips you need to remember to ensure her health and your sanity during the upcoming weekend.

#1) Keep the Scraps on the Grill and Away from His Stomach

You can’t resist those puppy eyes begging for scraps; you just can’t! However, as tempting as these morsels are, they can upset your pooch’s stomach. Besides, edibles such as onions, avocados and raisins are toxic for dogs. So make sure to instruct your visitors to be brave and withstand the whole puppy charade.

#2) Pass the Alcohol Around But Not to Your Pooch

Keep a close eye on the alcohol as it makes its way to people’s hands. In addition to keeping tabs on your own drink, make sure that no one shares their own with your pooch. If your dog ingests alcohol in any way, keep on the lookout for signs of weakness and intoxication. Contact your vet immediately to fix the damage before it grows worse.

#3) Protect Your Dog from Human Products and Grill Essentials

Since it’s summer and probably mosquito season where you live, you may think that you’re doing Fido a favor by spraying him with insect repellant and dabbing him with sunscreen. However, unless these have a ‘Made for Dog’ label, don’t use them on your dog. You also need to keep matches and lighter fluid away from him as these can irritate his digestive, respiratory and central nervous systems if he ingests them.

#4) Place Glow Jewelry Far Away from Her Paws’ Reach

If you intend on having glow jewelry this Fourth of July, make sure that your dog doesn’t sink her fangs in it. While these plastic accessories are far from toxic, the ASPCA believes that chewing and swallowing them can lead to indigestion, causing excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation. Your dog can also develop intestinal blockage if she swallows larger pieces in your absence.

#5) Go to Parties Alone; It’s Okay to Leave Your Dog Behind

Independence Day BBQs and neighbors’ parties are events where ditching man’s best friend can be a great idea. Let your pooch miss you at home while you’re celebrating this special occasion with two-legged friends. Preferably keep him indoors rather than in your yard unless you want him leaping over fences to find you.

#6) Don’t Leave Her in the Parking Lot

Some dog owners tag their dogs along to parties, but leave them unattended in their cars. Aside from putting your pooch at the risk of being stolen, the heat can get to them even if your windows are partially opened. So don’t put your dog in harm’s way and simply let her stay safely at home.

#7) Save Butch from the Sound, Sight and Burns of Fireworks

Like New Year’s Eve, you’ll need to keep your dog far away from fireworks. If you’re planning on lighting a few off yourself, keep your dog indoors in a room which no one would open. Aside from severe burns and/or trauma, fireworks can harm your pooch through their toxic contents, which include arsenic, potassium nitrates and heavy metals. If your neighbors are planning their own fireworks show, lower the blinds and turn on the TV to block the sights and sounds coming from the outside. Better yet, play soothing music and give your dog all the attention he needs during this nerve-wrecking time.

#8) Find Out How You Can Counter His Anxiety

While you should ignore your dog’s fear to prevent rewarding this negative behavior, you should make sure that your pooch’s at ease. In addition to getting him a special toy or chew treat, take him on a walk and use devices such as Thundershirt. You can also talk to your vet about short-term medication if your dog gets dangerously distressed.

#9) ID Your Dog Even if You’re Keeping Her Home

Even if you’re planning on keeping your pooch home, make sure that she’s wearing an ID collar or preferably micro-chipped. There’s always a chance that someone may open the doors, allowing her to frantically run away due to fireworks. So be on the safe side and make identifying her easy for you and others. 

#10) Find Out if Your Vet is Accessible During the Holidays

Call your dog’s vet or nearby animal hospital to find out about their availability during the Fourth of July. If your vet isn’t in, ask him or her for their cellphone number to contact them in the case of an emergency. Also write down important numbers such as the Pet Poison Helpline to cover all bases. 

With these ten simple tips, rest assured that your pooch will be in great shape. You’re also welcome to bounce ideas and get suggestions from our specialized dog behaviorists on how to manage your pooch’s jitters during the Fourth of July. So have a great weekend from Sam Ivy K-9 Consultants and may you and your pooch have a safe Independence Day celebration.

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