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Keeping your dog safe on the 4th of July

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With the Fourth of July approaching, it’s time once again for a few reminders, most of which we all already know, but, as they say, better safe than sorry.

First off, make sure your dog is wearing identification tags — even if you’re both planning a quiet evening at home.

Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) has issued a reminder that even animals not inclined to roam may uncharacteristically do so amid the bangs and booms. Animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving a surge of “Independence Day” dogs — so make sure your’s is carrying the information needed to get him or her back to you.

Do not leave your pet in the car — on the 4th or any other summer day. Even partially opened windows don’t always provide sufficient air, and a dog can become sick or even die within minutes.

Some additional Fourth of July tips from the American Kennel Club:

1. It is safer to keep your pets at home and inside during Forth of July celebrations instead of bringing him to your neighbor’s party, fireworks demonstrations.

2. Keep your dog inside, rather than in your yard. He will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you.

3. Dogs can be startled by the loud noise of fireworks. Once the festivities begin, keep your pet in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure.

4. Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television or playing music.

5. If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with your pet, speaking soothingly to help them to relax.

6. Avoid scraps from the grill. While tempting to our pets, any sudden change to your pets’ diet can cause stomach upset. In addition, some certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic.

7. Human products can be dangerous to animals. Avoid spraying your pet with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use.

8. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system, if ingested.