5 Must-Do’s for a Safe 4th of July With Your Dogs!

We all enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July with our friends and fur-family. However, as you can imagine, Fourth of July requires some serious precautions that we as responsible pet parents need to take. Here are my top 5 most important tips to help ensure the safety of your pups.

1. Did you know that more dogs go missing on the fourth of July than any other day of the year? This is because noises from fireworks and other celebrations can result in extreme fear that causes dogs to bolt. I have seen dogs dig out from a fence and go running in the neighbourhood in an attempt to seek shelter, only to end up being lost. Make sure you have YOUR current information updated with your dog’s microchip provider. You can check to see if your contact information is correct by calling the provider. Don’t remember who that is? You can use this link to identify the source of microchip and further information regarding the registration. A good old fashioned dog tag is also always a good idea, though if your dog slips his collar, a microchip becomes essential.


2. Mitigate Noise phobia. If you know your dog has an intense noise phobia/fear of fireworks, ask your veterinarian about giving your dog something to settle them down at least two hours prior to an anticipated noise event. Fireworks and thunderstorms are serious triggers for negative behaviours for some dogs. Asking your veterinarian about Ileo, Trazadone, CBD full spectrum, and more are just several ways you can manage the noise phobia. I have even found that using the ThunderShirt on these guys helps. Oftentimes, pet parents find their dogs in the bathtub or in a closet because finding a confined space helps ease the deep noises that create such unwanted behaviours. This can result in these fur-babies hurting themselves.


3. Keep the garbage high and away! When entertaining for a barbecue, dogs may sneak into a garbage can left on the ground and, low and behold, will find a jack pot of goodies (corn cobs, ribs, bones, barbecue foods, desserts, etc). These foods can not only be toxic but also deadly. Dogs can show signs of intestinal blockage via inappetence and can also show severe pancreatitis as well as the most common results of dietary indiscretion—vomiting and diarrhea. Keep the garbage elevated and away. Kindly ask your guests to avoid giving them table food.  In exchange, they can offer belly rubs and play catch the ball.


VIDEO: Ribs, fireworks, and other hazards—The charismatic Dr. Adam Christman on keeping dogs safe during summer festivities.


4. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases. Exploiting dogs by showing them drinking alcohol on social media is not only wrong, it’s just stupid. Don’t be that person people are going to chat about in a negative way.


5. Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets. I once saw a dog with aspiration pneumonia from inhaling citronella oils and he was hospitalized for seven days! He recovered but was super sick. Make sure these items are secure and the dogs can’t knock them over with their tails and cats don’t get their tails burned.

Dr. Adam Christman is the Chief Veterinary Officer at MJH Life Sciences. He is the host of dvm360’s “The Vet Blast Podcast”, author, national speaker, practicing veterinarian in NJ, and proud dog dad to four Dachshunds. Check him out at dradamchristman.com.


Ways to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks

DOTT: The Smart Dog Tag


Keep your dog safe with DOTT: The Smart Dog Tag! DOTT syncs to your mobile device and acts as a “virtual leash” that will alert you when your dog is out of range and help you locate your lost pet. This inventive device allows you to add multiple owners and post lost dog alerts to the DOTT community as well as social media. With a waterproof design and a 6 month battery life, you can feel secure about the safety of your pet. – EL

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