4th Of July Safety Tips For Dog Owners

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A young pug looks mournful while lying on a couch

More dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. With all the noisy fireworks, loud parties, and distractions, it’s no wonder so many pooches bolt and get lost on Independence Day.

As pet parents, we all want to keep our dogs safe and happy on this holiday. Do what you can do to make your pup feel calm and secure. Talk to your vet and make sure you’re not doing anything to make your dog’s noise anxiety worse.

By following a few simple safety reminders, you will help your dog have a safe 4th of July, and your pooch will be around to keep loving you for a long time.

1. Update Your Dog’s Identification

SANTA FE, NM - JULY 4, 2017: A pet bulldog wears an American flag kerchief around its neck at a Fourth of July celebration in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

(Picture Credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

While we all hope that our dogs don’t get lost on the 4th of July, sometimes accidents happen. If your dog does bolt, you’ll want to get them back as soon as possible. Updated identification is the best way to make sure that you can be reunited quickly.

An up-to-date identification tag greatly increases the chance of a lost pet being returned to you. Make sure that your pet always wears identification and is microchipped.

If you moved recently or changed phone numbers, now is a good time to update your dog’s tag and microchip info. Any shelter or vet office, as well as most law enforcement offices, will have microchip scanners. If someone turns in your lost dog at these locations, a microchip will help them return your dog to you.

2. NEVER Leave Your Dog In A Car Alone

Jack Russell dog hangs in window July 4, Independence Day Parade, Telluride, Colorado.

(Picture Credit: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Never leave pets–or human children for that matter–in cars unattended. On a sunny day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket to deadly temperatures in minutes.

Even if you leave the air conditioning on, your dog is highly visible to anyone walking past–including thieves. Many dogs have been stolen from cars, especially purebred dogs. Don’t let your pooch be another unfortunate victim.

If you plan to head to a fireworks show, barbecue, or other 4th of July event, leave your dog at home where they can stay reasonably safe.

3. Keep An Eye On Your Dog During Parties

Multi-generation family on picnic in back yard sitting on blanket, eating burgers and celebrating 4th of July - Independence Day.

(Picture Credit: vgajic/Getty Images)

Having a party? Make the grill area off limits for dogs and keep an eye on your pup during parties and barbecues, as food scraps can make them sick.

Make sure to have fresh clean water easily accessible for all of your pets on hot days and during parties.

Keep your dog secure, and make sure guests know to do the same. If your dog is not allowed out of the house or yard, guests need to know to watch out as they come and go.

It may be best to allow your dog to say a quick doggy hello to guests, then put your pooch in a secure room with some calming music, toys, food, and water.

4. Your Dog Doesn’t Need To See Fireworks

A dog photographed on July 4th along a public right of way.

(Picture Credit: Steven_Kriemadis/Getty Images)

This should go without saying. Do not bring your dog to the fireworks displays, as they can be disorienting and frightening to pets. Dogs are far more likely to bolt if they’re outside and surrounded by explosions that they don’t understand.

Your dog won’t appreciate the fireworks as much as you do, anyway. As much as people would love to see and pet your dog on this fun, summer holiday, it’s not worth the risk.

5. Leave Your Pup At Home

A young pug looks mournful while lying on a couch

(Picture Credit: susafri/Getty Images)

I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Leave your pet at home. Make sure doors and windows are closed and the air conditioning is on. Give your dog food and water.

If your dog is sensitive, you may want to consider putting them in a secure room or a nice, cool closet where they will be insulated from the explosions outside. You can play soothing music or turn on the television to help muffle loud noises.

Never leave your dog outside and unattended on the 4th of July.

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