While you may be counting down to fireworks and barbeques on the Fourth of July, these exciting activities can be scary or even dangerous for your pet. As tempting as it may be to bring your pet along to celebrate this summer holiday, the American Kennel Club(AKC) advises against exposing pets to the rockets’ red glare.

 
In order to help your pet stay safe and calm during your Independence Day festivities, AKC suggests keeping your dog at home rather than bringing them along to your neighborhood party. The noise and reverberation from fireworks can be frightening to dogs, not to mention painful for their sensitive ears. Keeping your pet indoors will help dull the noise. Leave the television or radio on for calm sounds to help drown out the outdoor bangs and booms.
 
You can help stem the visual stimulation as well by lowering blinds and curtains and, if your pet is crate trained, keeping them in their crate and covering it with a blanket to help them feel more secure. The biggest security blanket, however, is you! If your pet seems nervous, spend some time relaxing with them. Your lack of fear and calm voice will help assure pups that they can feel comfortable.
 
If you are hosting the celebrations or do decide to bring your pet along, do your best to keep their environment as normal as possible. Avoid feeding your dog any BBQ scraps. Although it may be tempting to give in to a mooching pooch, any change in their diet can lead to an upset stomach and more stress. 
 
Don’t let your pet ingest any out of the ordinary substances. Human bug spray and sunscreen can be dangerous for pets, as can other celebratory products like matches and lighter fluid.
 
As a final safety precaution, having your dog microchipped with a permanent ID can help you find your pet should they get nervous and hide or run away. Talk with your vet about preparing for this situation and any specific concerns you may have during this busy holiday.