Summer & Fourth of July Dog Safety: A Guide for Pet Parents

Summer & Fourth of July Dog Safety: A Guide for Pet Parents

Celebrating the Fourth of July often means backyard barbecues, fireworks displays, and plenty of summer fun. While these festivities create memorable moments for us, they can be a source of stress and danger for our furry family members. Prioritizing your dog's safety ensures that everyone can enjoy the holiday to the fullest. Read on for essential safety tips to keep your dog happy and healthy during the Fourth of July celebrations.


1. Create a Comfort Zone

Fireworks can be terrifying for dogs, resulting in anxiety or panic. Prepare a safe, escape-proof area in your home where your dog can retreat. Dimly lit rooms equipped with soothing music can help calm their nerves.

If your dog is crate trained, their crate can serve as a familiar refuge. Place their favorite toys and blankets with them (if trusted not to chew and ingest under duress) to offer additional comfort. Leave items that smell like you making them feel safe and secure.

Consider leaving a long, soothing dog music playlist running, like the embedded video and playlist below, to help ease anxiety and drown out the noise from fireworks.




2. Identification is Key

In the event that your dog becomes startled and runs off, having them properly identified increases the chances of a safe return.

  • Ensure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag that includes their name and your contact information.
  • Microchip your pet
    • Have up to date information listed
  • Ensure registration is current
  • Consider equipping your dog with a GPS tracker
    • Make sure device is fully charged
  • Have recent photo



3. Maintain Routine and Use Calming Techniques

Dogs thrive on routine, which can help mitigate anxiety. Before the festivities begin, engage your dog in physical activities like long walks, enrichment games or play sessions to help them release pent-up energy.

Introduce calming aids well ahead of time if your dog is prone to anxiety. Products such as:

  • CBD treats
  • Rescue Remedy flower essences
  • Adaptil pheromone diffusers, or calming collars

Consult your veterinarian about these options and consider starting them in advance to assess how your dog responds.

To keep your dog's mind off the noise, provide them with engaging activities to keep them busy and shift their focus:

  • interactive puzzles
  • chew toys
  • treats they have to work to get
  • frozen treats or stuffed Kong®️
  • familiar commands and tricks rewarding them with treats or affection



4. Guard Against Heat and Burns

July weather can be scorching. Keep your dog cool and hydrated, providing plenty of water and shade. Avoid hot pavements that could burn their paws; dog booties can offer protection. Never leave your dog in a parked car, as temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels.

If a day outside is part of your celebration plan, monitor your dog for signs of overheating and heat stroke, such as:

  • Panting: This can become rapid, distressed, or noisy as the heat stroke worsens
  • Drooling: Also known as hypersalivation
  • Red mucous membranes: Including bright red gums and tongue
  • Skin temperature: Hot to the touch
  • Heart rate: Higher than normal
  • Hyperactivity: The dog may be restless, pace, or seek shade or water
  • Balance: The dog may have difficulty maintaining balance
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mental dullness or loss of consciousness
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Collapse
  • Dry nose
  • Quiet or poorly responsive behavior
  • Blood from the mouth or in the stool

Seek help from an emergency veterinarian immediately if any of these signs appear.



5. Mind the Food and Festive Treats

While it's tempting to share our holiday fare with our four-legged friends, many common barbecue and party foods can be harmful to dogs.

A few itmes that should be off-limits are:

  • fatty meats and drippings
  • bones
  • corn on the cob
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • grapes/raisins
  • onions and garlic

Instead, keep your dog safe and satisfied with their regular diet or special dog-friendly treats. Our Operation Drool Overload treats are a festive and safe option for your pet—plus, you'll be supporting a good cause!

Make snack time a mission for good and support Dogs on Deployment! A national non-profit providing vital assistance and advocation to and for military pet owners. Boasting the largest network of volunteer boarding homes and pet-related financial aid to U.S. military members.

6. Keep Them Separated from Fireworks and Sparklers

It's never recommended to take your dog to a fireworks display. Besides the risk of them running away in fear, debris from fireworks can be harmful. Similarly, keep all sparklers, glow sticks, and other festive but potentially dangerous items out of reach. If they ingest any part of these items, it could lead to serious health issues.



7. Consult Your Veterinarian for Extreme Cases

For dogs with severe anxiety, consult your veterinarian. They can recommend behavior modification strategies or prescribe medication to help manage your pet's anxiety during the festivities.



By following these tips, you can help ensure the Fourth of July is enjoyable for everyone in your family, including your four-legged members. With a bit of preparation and mindfulness, you'll be ready to navigate the holiday's excitement while keeping your dog safe and stress-free.

Remember, celebrating our nation's independence doesn't mean compromising on our pets' well-being. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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