The Fourth of July weekend is almost upon us. And even though us humans love the sun, hot dogs, burgers and fireworks, the Fourth could be a stressful day for your pet.

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While it is awesome to think about that sweet doggo of yours dressed up in ‘Murica garb and partying and celebrating America’s independence with you, here are a few things you should know about keeping your pets safe this weekend, courtesy of the Animal Defense League of Texas.

1. Leave the pet indoors

If you’re going to go out and celebrate, it’s best to leave your dogs and pets indoors, with the curtains drawn for comfort, and preferably with a human inside for some company. This is the only surefire way to ensure that they truly won’t come into contact with any fireworks, beer, hazardous chemicals or unsafe food.

More: Where to buy fireworks in Central Texas

2. If you have to be outside, keep the pets in a kennel or a crate or keep it on a leash at all times

This may provide the pup with a sense of security if it’s scared, and will make you feel better knowing that he won’t be coming into contact with anything that could cause harm or scare him.

More: Where to celebrate the Fourth of July in Austin

3. Keep all your pet identification current

According to the ADLT, more pets get lost on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. So if your scared doge does run off amid the fireworks and festivities, make sure she has a collar with a visible ID on her at all times. Take current photos of your pets, just in case you have to use them.

More: Don’t shoot fireworks this Fourth of July before reading this

Somewhat related, the Austin Animal Center is currently looking for temporary foster homes for their large and medium-sized dogs  “to make space for the inevitable spike in lost pets due to the upcoming fireworks and outdoor activities,” according to a news release. Austinites are encouraged to come to the shelter until Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to sign up as short-term fosters. 

4. Stating the obvious, but— keep all pets away from fire

Keep all your animals away from open flames, hazardous chemicals, sparklers, cherrybombs, Black Cats, lighters, fireworks or any other thing that might cause them harm, and keep water and a fire extinguisher on hand. 

More: Where to watch Fourth of July fireworks in Austin and around Central Texas

5. If your dog is scared of fireworks, play TV or music

Remember, the best practice is to leave your dog inside. If he is still scared of the loud firework noises coming from outside, play the TV loud or play some soothing music to distract him. Try increasing the volume every so often to get him used to the noise. To make it easier for him to want to stay inside, take him for a walk or tire him out earlier in the day. 

And, always remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Keep everyone cool this weekend by following our tips on how to beat the heat this summer. 


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