Prepare for a fun and safe 4th of July with your pups!

The 4th of July is synonymous with one thing–fireworks. Even if you live in an area where fireworks are banned to the public, there are still often citywide, county, or neighborhood shows to delight the crowds. While the beautiful explosions and bright-eyed fizz of sparklers can be fun for kids and families while they nosh on backyard barbecues and dive face-first into huge slices of watermelon, there’s another group that can be negatively affected by all the light and noise and smoke–dogs.

How can you help your pups stay safe and even enjoy the 4th of July holiday? Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your furry family members survive the holiday without so much as a singed whisker:

  • Don’t take your dogs to a fireworks display – Beyond the fireworks themselves, the crowd itself can unsettle any pup. Let them stay at home where they’ll feel more safe in a familiar environment. Also, don’t take them along and leave them in the car! This poses a serious health hazard in the best of times.
  • Keep them secure – Fireworks can cause even the most well-behaved dog to try and escape. First, ensure they have their collar and ID tags on, keep them indoors during the display, and try to keep any windows and doors shut so they can’t force their way out. If you have air conditioning, use it to keep them cool during the hot months.
  • Give them a haven – Set up a place indoors where your dogs can retreat to if things get overwhelming. Make it a place with a few favorite toys, a cushy dog bed, and perhaps an outer door that can be shut to muffle some of the noise.
  • Fireworks and dogs should never mix – If you live in an area where personal fireworks are legal, make sure that the pups are nowhere near when you set them off. Also, keep any matches or lighters secure so your pup doesn’t come across them and think they’re the latest chew toy.
  • Keep treats handy – Comfort and reward your dog for good behavior while the loud noises and flashes of light are going on with their favorite treats. Need some treats for this? Try VPF’s Homestyle Baked Biscuits!

Does your dog ever get frightened by fireworks? What firework laws does your city have in place? Do you take your dogs along to see the light show, or do they stay at home?

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