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From fireworks to cookouts, experts explain how to keep your pets safe on 4th of July

More pets go missing during the Fouth of July than any other time of the year.
Fourth of July
Posted at 8:30 AM, Jul 04, 2023

MILWAUKEE — While we humans look forward to all the festivities and fun that come with celebrating the Fourth of July, it's one of the scariest, and oftentimes, dangerous holidays for our four-legged friends

"It can be a little bit crazy. They are just like us, they have anxieties, they have stress," said dog owner Courtney Hansen.

Milwaukee dog mom Courtney Hansen says her two pups, Potato and Gravy, aren't big fans of fireworks. And during a time when more pets go missing than any other time of the year because of them, she does everything she can to make sure her girls are safe and sound inside.

"It can be a little stressful on them with the loud noises," said Hansen. "We stay inside for the most part and we'll do like puzzle games, play with toys, treats so that they are as distracted and happy as possible."

But it's not only fireworks that can put your pups at risk.

Angela Speed, the vice president of marketing and communications for the Wisconsin Humane Society, says bringing your dogs to a cookout poses a whole new set of health and safety hazards.

"There are lots of foods that are toxic to our dogs that we're eating or can cause severe gastrointestinal problems," said Speed. "Things like chicken bones are damaging to a dog's stomach and intestines. Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. Things like insect repellent or DEET can make them very sick as well."

Speed says the weather is also something dog owners should keep in mind if they decide to take their pups along with them.

"With this heat you want them to always have access to shade, cool water, and air-conditioning," said Speed.

"I like to avoid hot pavement. A lot of people don't think about it but it can get really hot to the point where it could burn your skin and your dog's paws," said another dog owner, Olivia Lillegard.

However, experts say at the end of the day, the safest place for your furry babies to be this 4th of July, if they can be, is at home.