Dog owners know that the fireworks which hail the arrival of our nation's celebration of Independence Day can mean sheer terror for our four-legged friends.
Most dog owners are aware that the patriotic "booms" which excite so many can turn your fur-babies into a quivering, terror-filled mess. With that being said, here are just a few last minute pieces of advice to keep your dog safe and happy as the celebrations kick into high gear.
A dog who has never jumped a fence before might give it a go if terrified by the incessant "booms" echoing through the night. Do not chance it - leave your dog indoors.
A dog who has paid never glanced twice at a loose fence board may seek it out and bolt in the midst of celebratory chaos. Do not chance it - leave your dogs indoors.
A dog who has never toyed with a gate latch may become Houdini when seeking escape from the thunder-like booms that will likely surround your house. Do not chance it - leave your dogs indoors.
Check and double-check that your dog's collar and tags are on securely. Remember, a good Samaritan seeks out identification on a dog's collar first - not everyone is aware of microchips.
Walk through your home to make sure that there are no loose screens, or un-latched doors which may provide an unexpected exit for your dog.
If you are leaving home and won't be near your pup to help provide peace of mind, turn on some fans - it creates excellent white noise and helps to drown out the frightening sounds.
Consider leaving on the television (or stereo) as well.
Even the best dog owners can make mistakes.
A few preventative steps could very well save your dog from bolting in terror.
It's a sad fact that many dogs wind up in animal control facilities this time of year - dogs who have never even considered running away in the past.
Please be careful - don't let your dog become a statistic.
Happy 4th of July weekend - have fun and be safe!