Here are some tips to help your dog, as well as you and your guests, have a happy Fourth of July:
1. If your dog is the nervous type, you might want to keep him inside the house, possibly in his own room, during those moments of greatest stimulation, such as fireworks or strange people in the house or yard, and give him something to do... a toy or a treat... and a comforting place to lie down, such as his own dog bed or crate.
2. Leave the TV or radio on as background noise to help alleviate any nervousness from unfamiliar or loud noises.
3. If your dog is more social and wants to be outside with you, as during a backyard barbecue, be sure he is supervised or leashed. You don't want him to run away if the hustle and bustle are unnerving to him.
4. If he does get out and runs away, it will help to have an ID tag on his collar so he can be safely returned.
5. To help everyone have a positive experience, you may wish to let your guests give Fido a treat when they arrive. If he is on a controlled diet, perhaps a good head rub will be enough. Otherwise, put the dog in his own space until things have settled down.
6. Be careful your guests aren't slipping him tasty scraps from their own plates, either. Explain to them that certain items could be toxic or dangerous, such as chicken or steak bones, chocolate, grapes, onions, etc.
7. You can help your dog achieve a more relaxed mental state by taking him for a walk before your party begins.
If you have more than one dog, it can be more challenging, but the same tips apply. If everyone present is known to the dog(s), it will be less of a problem for everyone, too.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!