Grab your sparklers and American flags, because the Fourth of July is here! We can't wait to light up the barbecue and grill a giant pile of hot dogs, but let's not forget about about the most important pups in your life... your pets! Keeping your furry friends around for Fourth of July can be a blast (after all, they're part of the family too, right?), but it's important to play it safe.

Check out our top five pet safety guidelines that can make or break your patriotic day!

1. Keep them inside during fireworks.

If your animals are skittish during thunderstorms, imagine what they'll be like when you set off your Fourth of July fireworks. Plan ahead by making sure the critters are inside the house and away from windows before you set off your display, and it might be a good idea to check on them right after the festivities are over. Chances are they'll be cowering in a corner somewhere, so a comforting rawhide bone might be in order. Or a trip to Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer, either way.

2. Watch what they eat.

If you plan on letting your pets chill outside during your barbecue, keep an eye on what they eat. People will likely leave food all over the yard, and your pals with paws will definitely be tempted to snag a bite... or five. Make sure your guests know to keep an eye on their food — and ask them not to feed your pets greasy bits of hot dog or burger. Otherwise, you might spend the evening cleaning up doggy vomit — or taking an emergency trip to the vet! Hardly a patriotic finish to July 4th. 

3. Keep them hydrated.

Celebrating July 4th with your pets is great and all, but don't forget that they're covered in a thick coat of fur. It's vital that you keep your critters well hydrated with plenty of H20 — especially if they'll be spending the day outside with you. Make sure to replenish their water bowls as needed, and you can even let them chew on ice if they need a quick cool-down!



4. Check in on them frequently.

Are you keeping your pets indoors while you and your family party outside? Might not be a bad plan, just make sure to check in on your little pals regularly to ease their anxiety. Chances are they'll be nervous with all the unknown visitors at the house, and they'll definitely appreciate seeing a friendly face every few hours. If you're keeping your pets in their crates, surround them with their favorite comfort toys, fresh water, and a cozy blanket.

5. Check collars and tags.

Double check that your pets' name tags are completely updated and that their collars are securely fastened before starting your Fourth of July festivities. With so many people coming in and out of the house, your pet could easily wander off and get lost! If you're keeping your critters inside, ask your friends to close the front door securely behind them.


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