It’s already time to start making plans for the Fourth of July! We might be looking forward to the festivities and fireworks, but it’s definitely not our dogs’ favorite time of the year. They love the food that gets dropped, but hot dogs and chips definitely aren’t the best snacks for dogs. On top of that, the crowds of people can be overwhelming, and the noise of the fireworks is one of the reasons that the Fourth of July is the number 1 day that dogs go missing.
What can you do to keep your dog safe during the fun of the Fourth? We have some Fourth of July dog safety tips that will help protect your pup. And in the event your dog does manage to run off, we even have some top tips to help you navigate that stressful situation. Let’s get into it!
Fourth Of July Dog Safety Tips
Have someone on dog duty- If you are organizing a large gathering, or are even just hosting a small get-together, have a friend or family member that you trust on dog duty. Put them in charge of keeping an eye on the dog and doing hourly checks to make sure the dog is where he’s supposed to be. It might also be helpful to put up signs reminding your guests that you have a dog and to keep any doors or gates shut.
Have designated drink areas- You might have to remind people, but it’s for your dog’s safety. Make sure any alcoholic beverages are kept off the ground and aren’t left unattended and within reach of a curious pup. Alcohol can have severe health consequences for your dog.
Keep a selection of dog-safe snacks handy- With all the tasty smells, your dog will certainly be trying to get in on the action. You’ll want to keep any fatty processed meats and greasy chips away from your dog. But don’t worry; fruits like watermelon, apple slices, and blueberries are dog safe and tasty. And they just might distract your dog’s attention away from the grilled meats… at least a little.
Don’t forget to seal those trash can lids- Your dog might try to treat himself to some leftovers if he can’t get it straight from the source. Make sure your trash bins have secure lids to keep your hungry hound from helping himself. It isn’t just the mess you have to worry about. If there are bones, they may splinter; fatty meat remnants can lead to pancreatitis, and there is always the chance of your dog eating something indigestible and getting an intestinal blockage. Definitely not the way you want to spend your holiday.
Make sure your dog has a safe space- If your dog is surrounded by people and might get overwhelmed, or reacts badly to loud noises, you should have a safe area set up for them to decompress. Even if you don’t think your dog will react, it’s still a good idea to have a quiet room or your dog’s crate set up for him to go and feel safe. Even a dark den made up in a corner can help your dog feel more relaxed.
If you are staying at a vacation cabin or rental, you can still create a safe space. Bring your dog’s travel crate inside and make it feel safe with blankets or pillows that your dog regularly uses.
Don’t put glow necklaces on your dog- Glow necklaces are cheap and fun, and you might think you can make your dog look festive… and even a fun way to keep him visible in the dark. Unfortunately, since dogs like to chew, there’s a good chance he might just chew that collar off. The glow liquid itself is non-toxic, but it can cause excessive drooling and possibly an upset tummy. The real danger is the plastic casing which could cause a blockage if swallowed.
If you want to light up your dog, choose to add a light to your dog’s Duke & Fox collar instead.
If you’re using sparklers, keep your dog inside- An over-enthusiastic dog might think it’s fun to chase the sparks or may get curious and burn their mouths on the remains of a hot sparkler. To prevent burns and a potential trip to the emergency vet, keep your dog inside or secured away from any sparkler use.
Help protect your dog from the noise- If you have a very anxious, noise-reactive dog, do whatever you can to keep the noise level down. Once the fireworks start, secure your dog inside, and direct him to his safe space. If you are at home or staying at a vacation cabin or rental, try playing soothing music to dampen the sound of fireworks.
If you are enjoying festivities while tent camping, or out in the park, try earplugs for dogs to drown out the noise. Earplugs for dogs do not go inside the ear. They sit outside the ear, more like an earmuff. You can also try a noise muffling hood combined with a Thundershirt to help comfort your dog until the fireworks are over.
Make sure your dog is wearing identification- If the worst happens, and your dog does take off in a panic, the best way to ensure he gets home safely is to have his name and information in an easy-to-spot place. Choose a collar with your dog’s name embroidered on it to spare yourself the worry of your dog losing his tags.
A Duke & Fox Collar is perfect for providing your pet with proper ID. Plus, they can look totally festive while doing it.
The Fourth of July Stars collar is a no-brainer and looks good on any dog!
Or check out the 4th of July Tie Dye collar for some fun, retro vibes!
This adorable 4th of July and Fishing Lures double-sided bandana is the perfect way to add an extra special touch to your dog’s holiday outfit!
Or you can check out the entire collection of collars and accessories to make your own, festive, unique look!
Whatever collar and accessories you choose, the important thing is that you are gifting yourself some peace of mind on this crazy holiday. Having your dog’s information clearly legible helps them get one step closer to you (without having to visit the shelter) should they get away. And that’s all us dog owners can ask for!