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Keeping Your Dog Safe On The Fourth

July 1, 2019

America’s birthday is coming up in a few days. It’s always good to relax with friends and family and enjoy a day swimming and/or grilling. However, this can be a dangerous—and scary—day for your canine pal, so you’ll want to take some steps to keep Fido happy, healthy, and safe. A Salem, VA veterinarian discusses Fourth of July dog safety in this article.


Food is a concern at almost all holidays, and the Fourth is no exception. Never give Fido anything that contains grapes, currants, or raisins; chocolate; nuts, especially macadamia nuts; mushrooms; caffeine; or alcohol. Garlic, onions, scallions, and chives are also unsafe, as are pitted fruits, especially avocado; raw meat, dough, or yeast; meat on the bone; and anything containing xylitol.


If you’re grilling, keep Fido away from the barbeque. Fire and dogs are a dangerous combination!


Many people head to local beaches or pools for the summer holiday. Never leave Fido unattended near water! Also, if you take your furry friend to a pool, make sure he knows where the stairs are. We also recommend using paw balm to protect your pet’s delicate paw pads.


Make sure Fido is current on his vaccinations and parasite control. Fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other unwanted parasites come out in droves at this time of year!


The Fourth can be a scorcher. Make sure your furry buddy always has shade and cool water. You’ll also want to watch for warning signs that Fido is too hot, such as panting. If you see any, immediately give your pup water and get him to a cooler area.


Sadly, lost dog numbers often spike around the Fourth. Many dogs are terrified of fireworks. Even the most loving and loyal pet may bolt if they get frightened. Bring your pooch in before the show starts. You may want to turn a TV or radio on for Fido to mask the noise. Also, make sure your canine buddy is microchipped and wearing ID tags, just in case.

Other Hazards

Lighter fluid, bug spray, citronella, glow sticks, torch oil, and sunscreen are just a few things that are toxic to dogs. Keep these things well out of paws’ reach!

Our Advice on Keeping Your Dog Safe On The Fourth in 2024

What foods should dog owners avoid giving their pets during the Fourth of July celebrations?

During the Fourth of July celebrations, dog owners should avoid giving their pets foods that contain grapes, currants, raisins, chocolate, nuts (especially macadamia nuts), mushrooms, caffeine, alcohol, garlic, onions, scallions, chives, pitted fruits like avocado, raw meat, dough, yeast, meat on the bone, and anything with xylitol. These items can be toxic to dogs, causing a range of health issues from digestive upset to serious poisoning. Always opt for dog-safe treats and keep human food out of reach to ensure your pet’s safety during the festivities.

How can grilling be made safe for dogs?

Grilling can be made safe for dogs by keeping them at a safe distance from the barbecue to prevent burns or accidents. Always supervise your dog when the grill is on, and ensure all grilling tools and skewers are out of reach to avoid ingestion of sharp objects. Never feed your dog cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injuries. Additionally, avoid letting your dog consume fatty scraps, which can lead to pancreatitis. Establishing a secure, designated area for your dog away from the grill can help prevent any incidents.

What precautions should be taken if dogs are near swimming areas during the holiday?

When dogs are near swimming areas during the holiday, always supervise them closely to prevent drowning or accidents. Ensure they have easy access to fresh drinking water to avoid dehydration. Introduce your dog gradually to the water, especially if they’re inexperienced swimmers, and consider a life vest for additional safety. Know the location of the nearest exit or stairs from the water so your dog can get out quickly. Also, apply paw balm to protect their pads from hot surfaces, and rinse off any saltwater or chlorine after swimming to prevent skin irritation.

How can dog owners protect their pets from the heat during summer festivities?

Dog owners can protect their pets from the heat during summer festivities by ensuring they always have access to shade and plenty of fresh, cool water. Avoid exercising dogs during the hottest parts of the day, opting for early morning or late evening walks instead. Use cooling mats, vests, or bandanas, and never leave dogs in parked cars, as temperatures can soar dangerously high within minutes. Watch for signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, and seek veterinary care immediately if symptoms appear.

What measures can help keep dogs safe from the noise of fireworks?

To keep dogs safe from the noise of fireworks, bring them indoors before the festivities begin to minimize their exposure to the sound. Create a comfortable, quiet space in a room where the noise can be muffled, using blankets or a white noise machine to help drown out the sound. Consider playing soft music or turning on the television to provide familiar sounds that can help calm your pet. If your dog is particularly anxious, consult your veterinarian about the possibility of using anxiety-reducing products or medications. Ensuring your dog wears a collar with ID tags or is microchipped can also provide security in case they become startled and escape.

Please reach out to us, your Salem, VA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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