Ah, the 4th of July. A time where families and friends get together to barbecue, swim, set off fireworks and have one beer too many. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the fact that it’s America’s birthday! I’m one of those people who first and foremost recognizes that the 4th of July is our Independence Day (I was a history major, after all!). Well this year when you’re getting set to have a fantastic day off work, remember to include your pups and be weary of their safety. Here are some safety tips for letting your dogs in on your Independence Day celebration.
Let the dogs have treats too: Whenever I entertain at my house, dogs are always welcome. Since there will be lots of human food sitting around at your 4th of July barbecue, have some healthy dog treats available for the pooches in attendance. Freeze some watermelon for a delicious, cool treat for your dogs, or pop some frozen peanut butter treats in the freezer! You may also want to have some crunchy dog treats or dental chews on hand for your furry guests. The dogs and their owners will surely appreciate it!
Watch your dogs around water: Yes, most dogs know how to inherently swim…but a lot don’t! Puppies and senior dogs are especially susceptible to the dangers of water. Most people have pools in Arizona, so water safety is a big concern. The day I rescued Khloee (yes, the very first day) she jumped into my mom’s pool after spotting a giant rubber duck floating in the water (which held chlorine). Luckily I was standing right there to jump in after her in my clothes, or she would have drowned. Don’t assume your dog can swim. If you’ll be at a place where there is a pool, make sure you introduce your dog to the steps so they can find their way out in case they fall in or panic. I would also suggest a life jacket if you aren’t sure how your dog will do in the water. They also come in handy if you’re on a boat or near a big body of water. It’s always better to be extra safe.
Dogs can get heat stroke: Dogs feel the effects of heat and cold just as humans do. Is it too hot for you outside? Then it’s too hot for your dog. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water and shade at all times during your 4th of July celebration. Be aware of your dog’s behavior, and take them to the vet immediately if you see signs of heat stroke such as excessive panting, weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep in mind that dogs can also burn their paws on the cement during the hot summer months so make sure they can go indoors, lay in the shade or play in the grass to avoid burns.
Put your dogs inside for the fireworks: Many dogs are terrified of loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks. Too many dogs run away on the 4th of July because the sound of the fireworks startles them, causing them to attempt to run away from the sound. If you’re going to participate in firework activities, leave your dogs inside. Make sure they have access to a comfortable place. I’d even recommend putting on the radio or TV to cover up the loud booming sounds. Don’t take your dog with you, thinking they will be fine on a leash. Why risk it? Leave your dog at home. Also be courteous of military veterans and military dogs that live around you, who might have PTSD.
We hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful 4th of July! Do you have any plans?!