Dogs and America ? ??
Name me a greater duo, I’ll wait… (sorry Canadian readers ??)
4th of July dog safety tips are likely some of the most important life-saving tips you’ll read about all year.
PS- Many of these tips are great for any holiday, especially ones that include fireworks or other potentially startling experiences for dogs.
Unfortunately, the 4th of July is one of the most dangerous days of the year for our furry friends.
Statistics show there is an increase of anywhere from 30-60% of the number of lost dogs between the days of July 4-6.
So, I’ll help you plan your day right and keep your dog safe this 4th of July.
Let’s get to the dog safety tips now ?
Here are the main 4th of July dog safety tips we’ll cover.
- Have your pet properly identified
- Don’t feed table scraps
- Dogs shouldn’t have alcohol
- Use dog-friendly sunscreen and insect repellant
- Don’t use glowsticks or jewelry
- Leave your dog at home
- Provide a safe spot for your pup
- Block out noise
- Give extra love
Prepare Your Dog Beforehand
The key to a successful 4th of July with your dog is to be prepared well in advance.
If you’re reading this on 4th of July, don’t sweat… you can still implement some of these ideas today.
One of the best ways to prepare your pup for the sights, smells, and sounds of 4th of July is proper training.
Specifically for noise training.
Part of why the 4th of July is scary for dogs has to do with fireworks.
Fireworks are loud. The noise can often exceed 150 decibels. For reference, a jackhammer emits about 100 decibels.
So, let’s talk about how to get your dog used to the sound of fireworks.
Training for Fireworks
Again, this is best if you can start weeks beforehand, but some training is better than none!
Start by finding fireworks noises on your phone and connect to a speaker.
With the volume very low, play the firework noise.
As your pup hears the noise, ask for a “look at me” or even a sit, lay down, or stay. Just something to get their focus.
When your pup makes eye contact, reward with treats.
PS- You’ll want to use extremely high-value treats for these sessions.
Repeat the steps all while slowly increasing the noise level of the firework noise with each successful attempt.
Don’t go too loud too fast.
Give your dog sufficient positive reinforcers with each successful calm reaction to the firework noise.
Remember, slow and steady.
Although this process takes time, it can pay huge dividends in the long run.
You can even practice having a “steady stream” of firework noises while you give your pup a yummy chew, or filled kong.
The key is to make the firework noise have a positive association.
A Note on Exercise on the 4th of July
On the actual day of the 4th, make sure you have a plan to set your pup up for success.
Wake up earlier than normal and take your pup on a long hike, run, fetch session or any other type of physical exercise.
The more you can do to tire your pup out during the day, the better!
Especially because once the sun sets, you’ll want your pup to be inside.
Top 4th of July Dog Safety Tips
Keeping your pup safe on the 4th of July takes some planning, practice, and of course, love on your part.
Let’s dive into the details of each safety tip!
Like I mentioned above, many dogs are lost between July 4-6.
It’s sad, but a fact.
So, to be extra safe with your pup, make sure they are properly identified. That can include the following:
- A collar with their name on it
- Dog tags
- GPS tags/collars
Out of all solutions, microchipping is the most reliable. It won’t ever fall off…
Plus, it provides a surefire way for someone to contact you in case they find your pup.
If you haven’t microchipped your dog, consider talking to your vet. The benefit greatly outweighs any cost.
Oh, how we love feeding our pups table scraps!
In some cases, it’s fine (but be aware of what’s safe and what isn’t). But, in other cases, you should just avoid it altogether.
Especially on holidays like the 4th of July, your dog will likely be around people who don’t know what’s okay for dogs or not.
When Uncle Dave (who doesn’t have a dog) sees your good boy or girl, they might instantly want to give them food.
Without knowing any better, who is to say they won’t give them a grape or something else dangerous?
It’s best to tell your friends or family visiting to not give any food to your dog.
That way you can avoid any potentially dangerous food going their way!
Better safe than sorry.
Alright, frat boys (and girls?) this one’s for you.
Do NOT give your dog alcohol.
No matter how funny you think it might be for an Instagram Story, it’s just not worth it.
Dogs process alcohol very differently than us humans, and not in a good way. It can be dangerous and cause a slew of health problems.
So, no your dog cannot have alcohol.
Just like you and I, dogs can get sunburned and bug bites.
We all know how miserable those can be, so do what you can to help your pup avoid it!
There are dog-friendly sunscreens and insect repellants out there.
Remember that human sunscreen and insect repellant sometimes use ingredients that aren’t safe for doggos.
Here is an option for dog-friendly sunscreen.
Here is an option for dog-friendly insect repellant.
This one may sound odd… but dogs love chewing things.
If that’s news to you, you must not have a dog…
Unfortunately, even with the right training, dogs can still chew things they aren’t supposed to.
Glowsticks and other 4th of July items/jewelry (think flags, headbands, bracelets, fireworks etc.) can be extremely dangerous if chewed.
Glowsticks contain glass. Your dog chewing on glowsticks can cause serious problems, so avoid them completely around your dog.
So, keep an extra eye on what your pup has access to. And that includes during the day at get-togethers and BBQs.
If you’re planning on going out to watch fireworks at night, leave your dog at home.
In about 99% of cases, they’ll be safer at home where they can’t run off than out with you. It can be tempting to have them with you, but it’s typically just not worth it.
Not only will there be loud fireworks, but they’ll likely be in a whole new environment.
That is a dangerous combination.
So, leave your pup at home.
For many dogs, their safe spot is their crate or kennel. (PS- If you’re needing help making that the case, check out our free online training class.)
For other dogs, it can be your human bed, a specific room with comfy blankets, or even the couch.
When the fireworks start going off, make sure your pup has access to an area that will make them feel safe and secure. And if you’re home, that may be snuggled up next to you!
This safe spot can help calm any potential anxiety or stress caused by fireworks.
Another important 4th of July dog safety tip is to block out noises (as much as possible).
There are a few ways to help block outside noise from getting inside your home.
- Use a white noise machine or other soothing sounds
- Use thicker curtains in the room your dog stays
- Keep blinds (and of course, windows) closed
- Use fans to add white noise
Additionally, if your home is large enough, head into a room that’s “deeper” into your house. That means as far away from windows and doors, where the noises will be loudest.
Blocking out as much noise as possible will help your dog stay calm on the 4th of July.
This is my favorite of all the 4th of July dog safety tips.
Above all, give your dog extra attention and love.
For many dogs, just having your calming presence can work wonders for them!
With that being said, when the fireworks start it is on you to remain calm. Act like nothing is happening.
Dogs feed off of our energy and emotions!
So the calmer you are, the calmer your pup likely will be.
Recap of 4th of July Dog Safety Tips
Keeping your pup safe on the 4th of July is a high priority!
By employing these tips, you’ll keep your pup not only safe but confident and prepared for what the 4th brings.
How else have you helped your dog stay safe on the 4th of July?
Let me know in the comments below!