July 4th Safety Tips

FireworksAs a first time dog mom, I was excited to spend my first July 4th with Annie Girl.  We headed to the park early in the afternoon to pick out the best spot and enjoy time with family and friends before the fireworks started.  We had a great time!

Until the first boom.  Before the first color burst faded, Annie Girl was off the ground and in her grandpa’s lap.  Imagine his surprise!  One second he is looking up at the sky and the next an eight month old lab is shaking in his lap!  Needless to say Annie Girl and I watched the rest of the fireworks from a few blocks away, inside the car, with the radio turned up to drown out the booms.  I held her close as she trembled in fear.  I felt horrible!  HORRIBLE!

Did you know that more dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year?  No, they are not making their own declaration of independence.  They are scared.  Terrified.  Frantic.

So here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe on July 4th.

  • Keep your dog indoors.  Turn on music or the television to drown out any fireworks sounds that may be heard in your neighborhood.  Putting him or her in a crate or other place they deem safe may ease anxiety.  If you must have your dog outside, be sure your yard is fenced in and someone is able to keep an eye on your dog at all times.  Not only is there a risk of higher anxiety and running away when outside, there is also the risk of a stray bottle rocket or other lit firework hitting them.
  • Never use fireworks around your dog.  Even sparklers can lead to burns on the face and paws of curious dogs.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your dog.  While it may be tempting to adorn them with red, white, and blue glowing necklaces as collars, if ingested not only is there a toxic substance inside, the plastic containers may lead to intestinal blockage.
  • Never leave food or alcoholic drinks unattended where dogs can reach them.  A chicken bone snatched from an unattended plate can get lodged in your dog’s throat.  Foods like grapes and chocolate are great for humans celebrating a holiday but may be toxic to dogs.  Just like in humans, alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication which can lead to weakness, coma and possibly respiratory failure in dogs.  It is best to keep your dog on their normal diet.  Any change may lead to indigestion and diarrhea.  Cleaning carpets is not a fun way to spend July 5th!

We hope you have a happy and safe July 4th!

Charlotte Dog Runner

http://www.charlottedogrunner.com

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