You might have great childhood memories of going to watch the fireworks and lighting sparklers for the Fourth of July. But as beautiful as they are, fireworks can be frightening (and even dangerous) for Fido. Learn how you can host a safe, stress-free Independence Day celebration with these pet-friendly Fourth of July tips.
Don’t grill anything with bones
While chicken wings and ribs may be traditional barbeque foods, it’s best to leave them off the menu when you have a dog. That’s because the bones found in your fridge aren’t the same as those your dog chews (which are raw).
Feeding your dog any cooked bone is dangerous because cooked bones can splinter, damaging their stomach and intestines. While raw bones don’t splinter, they may contain potentially harmful bacteria, so it’s best to avoid bones altogether to keep your dog safe.
Create an emergency contact list
It can be hard to think straight in the heat of the moment, which is why it’s best to prepare ahead of time. Create an emergency contact list for your pet that you can turn to in case of an emergency. Save the contacts in your cell phone and tape the list to your refrigerator.
We recommend your list include:
- The animal emergency room closest to your home
- Your veterinarian
- The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
Keep them inside
If you or your neighbors will be setting off fireworks this July 4th, you should definitely keep your dog inside. Loud firecrackers or fireworks can startle animals and cause them to run away. They can also cause anxiety-prone pets to experience severe stress and anxiety.
We recommend putting your dog somewhere they’ll feel safe before the fireworks begin. If they’re crate trained, put them in their crate and cover it with a blanket. If they’re not, put them in a room where they’ll feel safe and at-ease, like the laundry room with the lights low.
Never use fireworks around them
Even if your dog is one of the rare pets who isn’t afraid of fireworks, you should still never light them around him. Not only do lit fireworks pose the risk of severe burns, but ingested fireworks could be deadly, as they contain toxic substances like arsenic.
You should also carefully check your yard for fireworks debris before letting your dog out to potty or play. Even if your guests didn’t set off fireworks, fallen debris could have made its way into your yard.
More Fourth of July dog safety tips
Other tips to help keep your dog safe and calm this July 4th include:
- Take a current photo (just in case they pull a Houdini once the fireworks start).
- Make sure they’re wearing their name tags with up-to-date information.
- Double check that your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date too.
- Summer heat can be dangerous, so make sure their water bowl is always full.
- Don’t let them near the grill while it’s on or still warm.
- Keep potentially poisonous items like citronella candles, lighter fluid, charcoal, sparklers, alcoholic drinks, glow sticks, and fireworks away from your dog.
- And keep anything sharp, like skewers or knives, where they can’t be reached.
- Resist the urge to give them human food! You don’t want your guests to follow suit and accidentally feed them something poisonous.
Now that you know what to do to keep your dog safe this Independence Day, check out our article on how to grill a heart-healthy dinner!
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.