July 4th and the summer season bring wonderful opportunities to be outside together but imagine the pit in your stomach if something were to happen to your dog. We all relish in the many fabulous festivities such as backyard barbecues with friends and vibrant firework displays lighting up the night sky. Yet these glorious summer days and nights can pose a threat to our dogs, and it’s important to take extra care to ensure their safety around the 4th of July and all summer long.
Here are 5 tips for keeping your dog safe at this time of year.
1.Take extra caution when it comes to fireworks. Nothing could be worse than having your dog run away, yet this is sadly a widespread problem around the 4th of July. This can be prevented by ensuring that your dog stays safely inside when fireworks are taking place. If your dog is still scared inside, take measures to calm him down. Lower the shades, comfort him, and consider playing soothing music or putting the television on to distract him. If left outside, your dog may try to bolt to somewhere they perceive to be safer. By no means should you take your dog to a fireworks display where they will find themselves in a noisy and unfamiliar environment. Lastly, never set off fireworks anywhere near your dog! Their faces or paws could be burned, and many fireworks contain poisonous substances like arsenic and other heavy metals.
2. Keep alcohol and human foods away from your dog. Alcohol can cause dogs to become very ill or even die so be very cautious when consuming it around them. If you are at a backyard barbecue, the host may be serving foods dangerous for dogs such as chocolate, avocados, onions, or grapes. Additionally, greasy meat scraps may cause stomach upset so keep an eye on your dog at all times near the grill. Can’t resist feeding your dog from the backyard spread? Check out our post entitled "The best and worst foods to share with your dog."
3. Make sure your pet is wearing identification. Due to the fact that more dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year, it's crucial that your dog be wearing a collar with up-to-date identification as it will be much easier to find him. Consider having your dog micro chipped if you haven't already. Always have a photo of your dog on hand either on your phone or in your glove compartment in case you have to go searching for him.
4. Don’t use human bug spray on your dog. It’s normal to want to keep your dog protected from insect bites but be sure to use bug protection intended specifically for dogs. Human products containing DEET or other ingredients could irritate your pup’s skin, make them nauseous, or worse. Be careful with citronella candles and repellents as well because inhaling them could make your dog ill.
5. Don’t let your dog chew on anything potentially hazardous. Look out for matches, unused fireworks, glow sticks, or anything else your dog might try to chew on. While glow sticks are generally non-toxic, they can cause a very adverse reaction in dogs due to their extreme bitter taste. Ingesting matches or unused fireworks pose greater risks, so be sure to watch for signs of a reaction and call your vet if this happens.
Did we miss anything? Please comment below! Have a safe and fun July 4th with your dog!
Brooke Spater runs Social Media Marketing at Kurgo. Among other things, she manages the Kurgo blog and enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 kids, and 90 lb. Goldendoodle named Baxter.