Grilling, picnics, parades, and fireworks are all fun ways to celebrate our country's independence. But as you prepare for your festivities, keep in mind that "the rocket's red glare" and picnic scraps can be cause for distress to our family pets. The AKC is here to help you keep your dog's safety and well-being in mind with some Fourth of July tips to pack along with the burgers and potato salad.
• It is safer to keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing him to your neighbor's party. Keep your pets in the house, rather than in your yard. He will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you.
• Dogs can be startled by the loud noise of fireworks. Once the festivities begin, keep your pet in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure.
• Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract the cacophony during neighborhood fireworks or audible fireworks in your area.
• If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with your pet, speaking soothingly to help them to relax.
• Avoid scraps from the grill. While tempting to our pets, any sudden change to your pets' diet can cause stomach upset. In addition, some certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic.
• Human products can be dangerous to animals. Avoid spraying your pet with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system if ingested.
• Should your dog get scared, escape and run away, help find him with microchip identification.