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Fourth of July can be stressful time for dogs

Alcohol and fireworks can be hazards for dogs this time of year.
by Matt Patterson Published: July 4, 2013

With the day punctuated by the sounds of fireworks popping and booming, July 4 can be a stressful day for pets.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said more pets are lost from their owners on the Fourth of July than any other day in the year. The group has offered a few tips on easing the stress for dogs during the holiday.

Those include: Walking your dog early in the day before the parties begin; keep sparklers, fireworks, charcoal and other similar items as far away from dogs as possible, and if your dog is afraid of loud noises, leave gentle music playing in the background.

Central Oklahoma Humane Society Outreach Director Amy Shrodes said it's a good idea to leave your dog at home when attending a large community fireworks display.

“I think some people think that because these fireworks are off in the distance it doesn't affect them, but the reality is their hearing is very sensitive and to a dog that is still going to be a very loud bang,” she said.

Food and beverages within a dog's reach can be dangerous if left unattended by party guests.

“Alcohol is definitely not good for dogs,” Shrodes said. “Neither are sweets and a lot of other things that are eaten on the Fourth of July.”

Shrodes recommends giving a dog a secure space that is as quiet as possible. It's also important that the area is escape proof.

“We do hear about dogs running away on the Fourth of July,” she said. “Fireworks spook them and when that happens they could be hit by a car or never come back.”

For more information on Fourth of July safety for pets visit

by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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