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Tips on keeping your dog safe, happy this Independence Day

Michael Prengler/AP

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Fourth of July is a festive affair for families across the country, but when making plans, be sure to keep Fido in mind!

While you know your dog best, the American Kennel Society suggested doggy parents avoid giving our four-legged friend scraps.

The change from their normal diet can cause problems later on and some foods that we enjoy like chocolate, beer, onions, grapes, avocados and raisins can even be hazardous to animals, PetMD reported.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your pet or keep them inside during the festivities, especially if they are easily spooked by loud noises.

According to Pet Finder, whether it’s from getting loose in the hustle and bustle of the holiday or getting scared from the fireworks, more dogs go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.

Here are some tips from the AKC on how to handle nervous animals:

  • Keep nervous pets in a safe room. If they are crate trained, put them in their crate and put a blanket over it to make them feel safe
  • Block out sights and sounds by lowering blinds and turning on the TV or radio
  • Have treats or toys on hand that can distract them from the noise
  • Take action when you first see signs of stress. If you wait too long, it may be harder for your dog to respond to your soothing.
  • Be patient. If you get upset with them while they are scared it could only make matters worse.