Like many Americans, your family is probably planning a Fourth of July celebration this weekend. As you're gearing up for a fun weekend of camping, barbecues and fireworks, keep your canine companion in mind. Fourth of July safety for dogs needs to be a top concern for pet owners whether they go out or stay home to celebrate the holiday.
Most dog owners think their pet will be safe at home, but there are still dangers. Dogs with anxiety issues are even more likely to have trouble on the Fourth of July. Loud noises can be terrifying to these dogs, and if you decide to leave Fido home and go enjoy the local fireworks show it may drive their anxiety even higher.
According to the American Humane Society, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters in the United States. This is because so many frightened companion animals flee the night before in response to the loud booms of fireworks near their home. If your dog is outside on the night of the Fourth, make sure that he is secured in a fence or on a leash.
You should not leave your pet outside unattended on the Fourth of July, and there are many other safety measures that you'll need to take to ensure your Fido enjoys the celebration as much as you do. Fourth of July safety for dogs cannot be overlooked.
Fourth of July Safety for Dogs
1. People food is only for people
One of the most common issues for dogs on every holiday is the ingestion of people food. Most people food won't hurt our dog, but some can be deadly. Alcoholic drinks are commonly found at Fourth of July celebrations.
If left where a dog can reach them, your pet could become intoxicated and weak. He could also become severely depressed or slip into a coma. In severe cases, respiratory distress could lead to death.
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You'll also want to keep your dog away from people food. Fourth of July safety for dogs can be difficult if you have guests in your home, but try as best as you can. Even a slight change in your dog's diet can lead to gastrointestinal upset. If you or your guests feed your dog people food, it could lead to diarrhea or an upset stomach if your dog isn't used to it.
2. Keep harmful items away
Fourth of July safety for dogs isn't just about the food and the fireworks. There are many harmful items that need to be kept away from your dog. Lighter fluid and matches are commonly left around during the Fourth of July holiday.
When lighting fireworks, camp fires or barbecue grills, be sure you put the lighter or matches where your pet can't reach them. Ingestion of these products could cause digestive issues, skin irritation, breathing problems or even kidney failure.
Lots of dog parents want to protect their furry friends from pests or the sun's harmful rays by using insect repellents and sunscreen. This is a great idea… if the products are made specifically for dogs. Using products made for people can be very harmful. They could irritate your dog's skin, and they may be made with chemicals that are toxic to dogs.
Citronella candles, tiki torch oil and other pest repellent products need to be put up high where your dog won't be able to access them. When ingested, these products could have serious negative effects on your dog including stomach irritation and nervous system depression. If your dog inhales too much citronella or tiki torch oil he could experience aspiration pneumonia.
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3. Ensure your dog has proper identification
In the event that your dog does runaway, how will anyone know where he belongs? Your pet should not be outside on the Fourth of July alone, and it is best to keep him on a leash.
If he does happen to run off, you need to be sure that he has identification tags and a microchip if possible.
Make sure that the information on the tags are up-to-date. It's not going to do any good if the tag still has your old address and phone number.
4. Have the appropriate dog supplies
Whether you're at home with your dog or at a campground, there are certain supplies that you'll need to ensure Fourth of July safety for dogs. I've rounded up a few products that will help you keep your dog safe and keep Fido happy and comfortable while you're celebrating this exciting holiday.
ROZKITCH Outdoor Pet Dog Mat Pad
This convenient mat pad for dogs folds up into a portable storage bag. This is made from waterproof nylon fabric and quilted with a polyester layer.
This is the ideal accessory to bring with you on a Fourth of July camping trip or while at a family barbecue. It allows him to have a comfortable place to rest while you're enjoying time with friends and family. For less than $30, it's also very affordable!
Mountainsmith Dog Cube
This tote-style carrier holds your dog's food when you're traveling for the Fourth of July holiday. The front panel drops down to be used as a food tray. Two collapsible bowls with peva waterproof liners are included to allow you to easily feed and water your dog when you're not at home.
These bowls are PVC-free. The large interior compartment is separated into two compartments to separate the dog food from the supplies that you'll need to pack like toys, a leash, and dog booties.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness
Collars are great if your dog is well behaved when walking on a leash. If not, a harness is your best bet for Fourth of July safety for dogs – and safety on the other 364 days a year too.
Dog harnesses don't choke your pet if he pulls, and they actually encourage your dog not to pull on the leash. This harness from Kurgo has five adjustment points to ensure that you can get an exact fit for your dog.
Plastic quick release buckles make it easy to get the harness on and off, and the broad, padded chest plate keep your pooch comfortable.
If you have any tips for Fourth of July safety for dogs, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Maybe your tips will help save a dog this weekend.