Give a dog a break!

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Not everybody loves the 4th of July. Just ask your family dog or cat for their 2 cents, and this is likely what you’ll get:





Decreased appetite

Abnormal urination & defecation

Dilated pupils

Excessive grooming


According to the ASPCA, the signs of acute canine and feline stress and anxiety are hard to miss.

Yet each year tens of thousands of pet owners miss or ignore these pet protests, making July 5th the busiest day for animal shelters across the country.

This year, give your pet independence from fear, anxiety, and danger.  Follow these simple tips from the experts at

“Keep your pets indoors on and around the 4th of July. You never know when the fireworks displays will begin or end – they often start a few days before and extend several days beyond.

Keep all windows and doors securely closed. Block off all pet doors and ensure that all yard gates are intact and securely closed.

Provide your pets with a safe, quiet, and secure area within the house. This might be their crate or a small room. Be sure they have fresh water and some of their favorite toys with them. For cats, be sure to provide them with clean litter boxes in this area, too.

Never have your pets around you when setting off fireworks in your yard and never take your dog with you to your neighborhood or town fireworks display. This won’t only keep them from getting scared and ‘bolting’, but it will also spare them the burn injuries that dogs commonly get from chasing and trying to catch or eat fireworks!” 

You can further mitigate the terrifying sounds of bombs bursting in air by providing your pets with white noise, courtesy of the radio, TV, air conditioner, or fan (not too loud — remember: dogs’ hearing is much keener than our own).

As always, all pets should have current tags and microchips.

If you know that your dog or cat is particularly sensitive to combustible festivities, ask your vet about a mild sedative (test dose should be tried well in advance of July 4th), or try the Thundershirt, or the anxiety relieving Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) plug-in.

But fireworks aren’t the only summer hazard facing pets. Backyard barbecues can turn into a gastrointestinal minefield, thanks to well-meaning bi-peds who think Buddy or Sheba are just dying for a bratwurst or onion ring. Onions are literally poison to dogs, and rich, cured, spicy meats are not good for any dog, particularly Yorkies, Shetland Sheep dogs, and Miniature Schnauzers, according to PetMD.

By now doesn’t anyone who drives a car know that it is extremely dangerous and cruel to leave any living creature in a parked car for any length of time whenever the outside temperature rises above chilly? You would think so, but you would be wrong. Please don’t do it. Not even for a minute. Like taking your dog along to see the fireworks, it’s worse than a bad idea. It is hazardous to your pet’s health.

For more helpful and easy summertime tips for your pets, check out the following websites:


bethanyBethany Chamberlain is a Bay Area marketing consultant, writer, beekeeper and animal-lover.

Bethany Chamberlain grew up in Redding and currently lives in Humboldt County.
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