Tips to keep your dog safe and sound during summer and Fourth of July festivities

Summer season is the time of year when dog shelters all over the country become the most inundated with strays from the streets arriving at their door lost, afraid, often injured, and too frequently lacking the right identification to get them home safely.

Fourth of July weekend has been documented as the busiest time of the year for many.

The loud decibels from thunder storms and fireworks shows are terrifying to many dogs and hurt their highly sensitive ears. In abject fear, many of them can take off from a fence ajar or run away if they are not otherwise safely enclosed in their home space, especially hound dogs like beagles and basset hounds.

There are many ways you can comfort your pet at this time like trying aromatherapy, playing classical music to diffuse cacophonic sounds from outdoors, and starting the day early when it is still cool outside with a long and robust walk so your Fido is more tired out by the time the fireworks sounds begin.

A healthy chewy bone like a Himalayan vegan is a nice way to distract your furry best friend or a Kong toy stuffed with frozen peanut butter they can be challenged to enjoy.

If you are out in the hot outdoors with your dog, which is unadvisable over even short stretches of time in the summer, make sure you bring plenty of water (collapsible water bowls are easy to carry) and watch for signs of dehydration or heat stroke which can happen and become an urgent emergency very fast.

Dogs sweat only by panting and through their paw pads. Heavy panting, atypical nervous behavior or lethargy are all urgent messages that this outing is no fun and they need urgent care to cool off.

Discarded or spent fireworks and easy access to party food can also be a serious danger during the summer time of pool parties and outdoor grilling---onions and grapes and chocolate as well as milky sap plants are just a few examples of what can be potentially fatally if ingested by your pet.

Better to leave on the Discovery Channel, keep the A/C nice and chill and leave them home with a health and engaging treat or toy. And bring kitty inside too!

Happy Fourth of July to all creatures great and small.

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