It only seems fitting to include man’s best friend in the all-American holiday known as the Fourth of July. By all means, include your pooch in your celebrations—just make sure he stays safe and sound by using these guidelines from a Gillette veterinary professional.

Picnic Safety

If you plan on bringing your dog along to the family barbeque, keep a close eye on what he consumes. Don’t let him near any harmful human foods, like garlic, onions, chocolate, candy and gum, avocado, or salty items. Avoid any and all alcoholic beverages, as alcohol can easily poison a pet. This includes beer, liquor, wine, and champagne. Make sure all picnic guests take heed of your dog’s safety.

Sun Protection

There’s a good chance your pet will be spending a lot of time outdoors, possibly in the bright sun. Make sure he’s stocked with fresh, cool water at all times, and provide a shady spot for your pooch to cool off under. You might even consider applying doggie sunscreen to exposed areas like the nose and ends of the ears. Pick these products up at a pet supply store, and ask your Gillette veterinarian for a recommendation.

Fireworks Display Precautions

While it may be tempting to bring your dog to your town’s fireworks display, it’s safer to leave him home. Even well-trained dogs can be frightened by the loud booms and bright lights of fireworks, running off into the night. Don’t let your dog get lost this holiday—keep him at home, in a secured area where he can’t escape.

Home Fireworks

Even small, home-use fireworks present risks. Dogs can be startled by the loud noises or sharp crackles of fireworks and firecrackers, plus they can be burned on the face and paws if they get too close. Secure your dog safely away from the area you’re setting off fireworks, firecrackers, or sparklers.

Matches and Lighter Fluid

Certain matches and lighter fluids contain harmful chemicals and toxins that will poison your pet if he ingests them. Don’t leave these items lying around where a dog could reach them—store them safely in a sealed container or locked cabinet instead.

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