Fireworks and hotdogs. Two things that go great together. Fireworks and dogs? Not so much.

Said to be the busiest time of year for animal shelters, July Fourth weekend can be fun for us humans, but a living nightmare for our pets. Hundreds of dogs are found miles from their homes, confused and exhausted after crashing through windows, jumping fences, or breaking their leash for fear of fireworks. Here are some tips, provided by the Charleston Animal Society, on how to keep your dog safe this Independence Day.

  • If fireworks upset your pet, make sure someone is watching them at all times. In more severe cases, you might want to visit your veterinarian for safe medications that will calm your pet down. Doggy Ritalin, anyone?
  • Be sure to keep your pets away from hot grills, oyster shells, and bones. In fact, it’s probably smartest to keep them away from picnic trash all together. Dr. Lucy Marlaw, staff veterinarian warns, “we have seen many impactions after holiday picnics where dogs have eaten corn cobs and tin foil from grills.” Yikes.
  • Most importantly, make sure your pet has an ID tag (micro-chips are helpful too) so that he/she can be returned easily to you if lost.

It’s simple, folks. Keep an eye on your pet and this Fourth of July will be all the more enjoyable.