Keep your dog calm and safe on the Fourth of July

Holidays can be a lot of fun for your dog - but they can also be stressful and exhausting.

Many dogs love company. They want to be petted and play ball with as many people as possible in a short amount of time. So, holidays can be a lot of fun for your dog - but they can also be stressful and exhausting. Plus, there are always safety issues to worry about: making sure your pet doesn't somehow run off and get lost, or ensuring that no guests feed your dog any human food that's not okay for canines.

These issues tend to come to a head on the Fourth of July, where there's food abounding, lots of outside play and - of course - the dreaded fireworks. Rather than stress out about it, though, just keep these handy reminders in mind. They'll help you keep your dog safe and relaxed through all the craziness of cookouts and loud noises.

Post reminders for guests. If you're hosting a cookout on the Fourth, it can be impossible to take the time to review with each guest what human foods are and aren't okay for dogs. Instead, write up a few friendly reminders that you can post inside your home as well as outside on the deck or patio where most of the eating will be done. Kindly ask that they refrain from feeding your dog anything but dog treats, and to especially avoid anything particularly toxic, like chocolate, onions or pieces of meat that might contain bones.

Keep a close eye on your dog. The easiest way to make sure your dog remains safe, of course, is to keep him or her inside and separated from all the action and excitement. But this isn't much fun for either of you. Instead, either keep a close eye on your pet to make sure there's no temptation to run off after a squirrel or stray tennis ball, or assign someone the task of being a dog watcher - it's a perfect job for an older kid, especially. When fireworks start, have a "safe" place to retire to. Dogs and fireworks somewhat infamously don't mix. It's understandable when you consider how acute a dog's hearing can be! While some dogs will bark up a storm, most get anxious and worried.

Make sure you have a "safe" place already set up for your dog to hang out in. Choose a part of your house that's more soundproof than others. Bring in your dog's bed and a few toys, but also consider giving your dog a shirt or old blanket that smells like you. Dogs take comfort from the scent of familiarity, and if you're not going to be in the room with him or her, your smell is a close second. Occasionally, dogs with particularly bad separation anxiety will need you to stick with them through the worst of the noise. It's not as much fun as being outside and enjoying the show yourself, but know that your pet would undoubtedly do the same for you if the roles were reversed!

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.