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Home > Dogs > 4th of July Dog Safety: 11 Helpful Tips for the Holiday

4th of July Dog Safety: 11 Helpful Tips for the Holiday

Silhouette Celebration Cheering fireworks

The 4th of July is a notoriously difficult time for dogs. While it can be great fun for people, many dogs find the time frightening. In some cases, it can even be dangerous for dogs, as rates of strays and lost dogs go up. Plus, you have to consider the potentially dangerous food and summer heat. All these things together can lead to a dangerous day for your canine.

Luckily, there is a lot you can do to minimize these risks for your pet. Preparing is half the battle, so be sure you’ve stocked up on these safety tips before the fun begins.


The 11 Safety Tips for Dogs on the 4th of July

1. Get Identification Tags

Dogs with nametag
Image By: Jessica_Death, Shutterstock

Pets are more likely to get lost on the 4th of July due to their panic surrounding the fireworks. Therefore, we recommend getting identification tags if you don’t have them already. Be sure they are updated and on your pet before the fireworks begin.

2. Consider Microchipping

Getting your dog microchipped is now very cheap and straightforward. However, you need a vet appointment, so you must do this months in advance. If you have that time, we highly recommend microchipping your pet. While your pet can lose an ID tag, losing a microchip is much more difficult.

If your pet is microchipped, be sure your information in the registry is updated. It doesn’t matter if your pet is microchipped if they can’t be located.

3. Consult Your Vet About Anxieties

dachshund dog check by vet
Image By: vet_Duet PandG, Shutterstock

If your dog has been historically anxious at this time, you may want to speak to your vet. Many products on the market can potentially decrease your dog’s anxiety. However, some of these work better than others. Some pets with severe anxiety may do best on prescription medication during this time. Of course, you’ll need your vet to take care of this prescription for you.

4. Ensure Your Home and Yard is Secure

Most pets that get lost aren’t trying to escape home. However, they are trying to escape the scary fireworks. Therefore, now is the time to ensure your home and yard are secure. If you expect your pet to react badly, get them somewhere secure before sunset and keep them there for a decent portion of the night.

This often means keeping your dog indoors and being cautious about opening and closing outside doors. If you’re having company over, consider keeping your pet in an internal room.

5. Keep Dangerous Items Away

Dog Head in Trash
Image By: Masarik, shutterstock

Even if your pet isn’t scared by the fireworks, there are other dangers. During the 4th of July celebrations, your dog can get exposed to glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal, and sparklers. Some dogs may try to eat or play with these items. Obviously, this can be dangerous. Therefore, be sure these items are kept out of your dog’s reach.

6. Watch Your Grill

When you’re cooking meats, you should be extra cautious regarding your dog. Many canines are attracted to the smell of meat, which may bring them to your grill. In some cases, they may even attempt to eat the charcoal. Therefore, you should preferably keep your grill somewhere your dog can’t access it.

Furthermore, dogs can also get burned by grills. They may jump up on them in an attempt to get to the meat, leading to burnt paws.

7. Avoid Table Scraps

labrador dog looking at the cookies on the table
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Many holiday foods can be dangerous to pets. For instance, onions and garlic are toxic to dogs. Therefore, you should avoid giving them any food with these ingredients. Of course, smaller dogs will be more sensitive to these ingredients than larger dogs but that doesn’t mean that you can feed onion-laced burgers to your larger dog.

Grapes and other common foods are also toxic. It is much easier to avoid all table scraps than memorize a list of dangerous foods. However, if you’re set on giving your dog human food, be sure to double-check that it isn’t toxic.

8. Watch for Overheating

July is often a warmer month so watch your canine for signs of overheating if they’re staying outside. Dogs can get overly excited during the 4th of July parties, which may cause them to overextend themselves. This can increase the likelihood of a heat stroke or similar issues. Veterinary attention is required if you notice any symptoms associated with heat stroke.

Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of shade and water.

9. Check for Firework Debris

Fireworks debris on the ground
Image By: PxHere

After the celebration, check your yard for firework debris before letting your dog outside. This debris can travel far, and many are potentially dangerous if ingested. Therefore, you’ll need to clean up your yard before letting your curious dog explore.

Plus, not only will this step protect your dog, but it protects wildlife, too.

10. Ensure Your Pet’s Needs Are Met

We recommend meeting all of your pet’s needs before the celebrations begin. We don’t recommend trying to take your dog on an evening walk while your neighbors are shooting off fireworks. You may also want to feed your pet earlier than usual, as the fireworks may make them too anxious to eat.

If you’re having a party, be sure you’ve set aside enough time to take care of your pet. Walks and mealtimes should be kept on routine as much as possible. Straying from this routine can cause stress, which is the last thing you want to do on an already stressful day. However, when sticking to a routine would leave your dog with unmet needs, feel free to adjust.

11. Consider Extra Exercise

toy fox terrier running
Image By: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

You may want to consider giving your dog an extra-long walk in the morning on this potentially stressful day. Depending on your area, many dogs will find it too hot to exercise in the day’s peak heat. However, getting your dog worn out before stressful events can lead to less anxiety. A well-exercised dog is less likely to be high-strung, which can lead to more anxiety. You want your dog to lay down and sleep while fireworks go off—not pacing around the house.

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The 4th of July is a complicated time for dogs. Many owners know that dogs usually find fireworks stressful. However, other potentially dangerous things are also associated with the 4th of July.

Many owners also find that the usual routine is affected on this holiday. Whether you’re celebrating at home, your dog will probably notice something up.

All of the things on this list can add to the dangers surrounding this holiday. However, there are many things you can do to combat these issues. These tips should help you keep your pet safe (and maybe even a little calmer) during this celebration.

Featured Image Credit: PxHere

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