The Fourth of July is a time of celebration. It's all about food, family, fun and fireworks. However, it could be a dangerous and frightening time for your dog. Here's how to keep your dog safe during the Fourth of July holiday festivities.
- 01 of 05
Fireworks and dogs simply do not mix. Many owners underestimate their dogs when it comes to fireworks. The truth is, even the bravest dogs can become terrified by their sound.
The most important thing you can do for your dog is to keep her away from fireworks displays. If you plan to go see fireworks, do your dog a favor and leave her at home. If fireworks can be heard near your home, keep her indoors for the evening, and give her a safe place to curl up, like a crate or plush dog bed with blankets.
- 02 of 05
July fourth in the U.S. is one of the hottest times of the year. While many celebrations are held outdoors, we humans have the benefit of going in and out of the house as needed. We can also cool ourselves with sweat. Sometimes we can even take a dip in the pool.
Unfortunately, our dogs do not have it so easy. Because they can only cool themselves through their mouths and feet, they are more prone to heat stroke. If your dog is outside for the party all day and you get caught up in the festivities, you may easily forget that your dog might be too hot.
Practice summer safety: Always keep plenty of fresh, cool water available and make sure there are shady spots for your dog. When in doubt, let her go back in the house. Most important of all: educate yourself about heat stroke in dogs.
- 03 of 05
Picnic food and party dishes can be tempting for your dog, especially if the food is laid out buffet-style. At a gathering of people, some food is bound to drop on the ground.
The problem is that many everyday people foods are unhealthy or even poisonous to your dog. Onions, grapes, and alcohol can actually be deadly! Fatty foods can cause your dog to become very ill, possibly even leading to pancreatitis. If swallowed by your dog, bones, corn cobs and wooden barbecue skewers can traumatize the GI tract or even cause an obstruction. In these cases, surgery is often necessary.
If your dog is a food-monger, it is probably best that she is kept away from the party when people are eating. For a special treat, people foods like carrots, apples, peas and lean meats can be healthy in moderate amounts.
- 04 of 05
Many dogs go missing during holidays and celebrations. Don't let your dog become one of the statistics. It can be easy for your dog to slip through an open gate or door because one guest left it unlatched. Strange people and noises can frighten some dogs into running away to hide.
Be sure to keep a close watch on your dog to make sure she does not wander off or run away. Always keep a collar on your dog that has identification with current contact information. If you feel that there is any chance she could become lost, then it might be best to keep her confined.
- 05 of 05
It can be difficult to determine if a dog is sick or injured. Our dogs cannot communicate with us in words, so we must rely on their actions and attitudes to guide us. Regardless of the time of year, it is crucial that all pet owners know the warning signs of illness and injury.
Some signs and symptoms can mean that you have an emergency situation on your hands. Others simply warrant observation and a call to your vet if they do not resolve. If you are not sure if it is serious, then you should call a vet immediately.
Keep a list of primary care vets and emergency vets in your area so you do not waste valuable time in an urgent situation. Learn about first aid care for your dog and fully understand the signs of illness and injury so you know what actions to take.