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Top Tips for Celebrating July 4th With Your Dog

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Independence Day is one of the most popular holidays of the year, and it’s easy to understand why. The weather is warm, many adults have the day off, and barbecues and beaches have Americans feeling relaxed and festive. Your dog, unfortunately, might feel just the opposite — and July 4th is probably one of his least favorite days of the year.

 

How to Handle Fireworks With Your Dog

Fireworks are fun and beautiful, but they’re also incredibly noisy — and frightening for your dog. They don’t understand the loud booms and often demonstrate signs of anxiety not unlike when thunderstorms occur. Never bring your dog to a fireworks celebration and never leave your dog outdoors at home while you attend fireworks. Instead, leave him inside — with the windows closed — and provide a safe place for him to relax. This may be a crate or bed. 


Attending a Party With Your Dog

Tips for Celebrating July 4th With Your Dog

Dogs are social creatures, and they often love meeting new people. If you’re planning on heading out with your dog to a July 4th barbecue, keep him on a leash — or at least within sight — at all times. Adventurous dogs can easily slip through an open door and disappear into an unfamiliar neighborhood.


Also, keep him away from foods and other substances that could cause illness. Although you probably already know that alcohol and chocolate are dangerous for dogs, other things, such as grapes and nicotine products, are also extremely toxic. Bring your own treats and pay attention — or leave him at home. 


Going to the Beach

Going to the beach on July 4th is practically a national pastime, but that doesn’t make it the right place for your dog. Before you hit the sand, check beach rules to see if dogs are permitted — many beaches don’t allow dogs.


Also, keep him away from foods and other substances that could cause illness. Although you probably already know that alcohol and chocolate are dangerous for dogs, other things, such as grapes and nicotine products, are also extremely toxic. Bring your own treats and pay attention — or leave him at home. 


Sun and Insect Protection

Pets need to avoid excess exposure to the sun as well as insects. Don’t put sunscreen or insect repellent meant for humans on your dog since chemicals in those formulas can hurt him. Instead, choose protectants formulated specifically for pets.


Definitely avoid DEET, a chemical contained in many popular insect repellents. Not only is DEET dangerous for people, it can cause neurological impairment in dogs. Even inhaling the scent of citronella candles can harm your dog and cause breathing problems, so keep an eye on your dog at all times when you’re relaxing in the backyard.


Update Identification and License Information

If leaving your dog at home is simply not an option, take some extra time before the 4th and update your dog’s identification, contact and license information. You can make a new identification tag inexpensively at your local pet supply store, and licenses are available from your town clerk.


Don’t forget to check your microchip information, too — if you’ve moved since the chip was implanted, you’ll want to make sure it’s updated before you head out for the day. Take a picture of your dog, too, so if the worst happens you are prepared with an updated photo. 


 

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