How to Keep the Fourth Fun: 4th of July Pet Safety

Keep your dog safe this Fourth of July.

PetAmberAlert reports, “According to national statistics, animal control officials across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th. In fact, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters.” Don’t let your dog become a statistic. Take these extra precautions this Independence Day.

Heading out? Leave Her Home

If you’re heading out to enjoy the fireworks in your city or neighborhood, leave your dog at home. As much fun as it is to take your pup on your adventures, this is one time she’s happier to be home alone. The sights, sounds, and—most especially—smells of fireworks can drive even the calmest dog crazy.

Hosting at Home? Secure Her Indoors

Because so many dogs panic and flee during fireworks, if you’re hosting a party for the Fourth at your home, secure your dog inside so that she doesn’t have the opportunity to escape. Keep her in a room or kennel where she feels comfortable. Consider playing soft music or leaving the TV on to provide a noise distraction. For fearful dogs, look into options like the ThunderShirt or Dog-Appeasing Pheromones to help alleviate some of the day’s stress.

Monitor Other Dangers

The Fourth of July usually includes afternoon barbecues and guests coming and going. Make sure that your dog can’t access the food by keeping it in the fridge or in coolers if outdoors. In the doorway that guests use to come in and out of the house, hang a sign that warns them not to let the dog out, or keep your dog on a leash or long line in your yard. A waist leash keeps your dog secured to you so you can monitor her whereabouts all day and ensure she doesn’t get herself into any trouble, while leaving your hands free to refresh your guests’ drinks and throw more burgers on the grill.

The bottom line for the Fourth of July: As much as you love spending time with your dog, this holiday is scarier for her than it is fun. Though she might not like being home alone while you’re out, or she might not like being secured in a room or kennel while you have guests over for a cookout, it’s in her best interest. Plus, you can always make it up to her with a long hike on the fifth!

Meet the Author: Maggie Marton

Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.

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