07/03/2014 11:10 am ET | Updated Jul 03, 2014

7 Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy And Safe This 4th Of July

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You might be excited to head to your neighbor's house to barbecue and watch the fireworks, but chances are your dog is freaked out about it. With the rockets' red glare and the bombs bursting in air, your dog might be tempted to flee to safety. Many dogs are afraid of riding in the car, afraid of going to the vet and afraid of riding in the car to go to the vet, but you may not know that they are often terrified of fireworks as well.

The Human Society of the United States takes in approximately 6 to 8 million dogs and cats each year, and says that on Independence Day, the nation's animal shelters report a huge increase in the number of lost pets. So what can you do to make sure your pets don't feel like flying the coop? Check out the tips below to see how you can set your pet at ease while celebrating America's 238th birthday.

Tips courtesy of the American Kennel Club.

  • 1 It's Safer Indoors
    It is safer to keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing them to your neighbor's party. Keep your pets in the house, rather than in your yard. They will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you.
  • 2 Establish A Safe Place For Your Dog
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    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.
  • 3 Cut Out Any Scary Stimuli
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    Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television.
  • 4 Calm Down Your Nervous Dog
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    If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with him, speaking soothingly to help him to relax.
  • 5 Don't Feed Your Dog Hamburgers
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    Avoid scraps from the grill. While tempting to our pets, any sudden change to your dog’s diet can cause stomach upset. In addition, certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic.
  • 6 Only Give Your Dogs Products Meant For Dogs
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    Human products can be dangerous to animals. Avoid spraying your dog with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system, if ingested.
  • 7 Microchips Can Be More Reliable Than Nametags
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    According to AKC Reunite, our pet ID and recovery service, they had 65% more recoveries last July 4-6 compared to the same time period of the prior week (Thursday through Saturday). Should your dog get scared, escape and run away, help find him with microchip identification. Collars and tags can fall off so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider. For more information and to enroll your pet in a 24 hour recovery service visit