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Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Keep your Fourth festive (and your summer sunny) by implementing these strategies to keep pets safe and healthy. It is especially important to consider the welfare of your pets during Fourth of July celebrations because many are terrified of fireworks and loud noises.

  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Use only pet-specific products such as bug repellant and sunscreen.
  • Prevent pets from drinking alcohol, which can poison them.
  • Outfit pets with ID tags and/or microchip. Keep a clear, current picture of your pet in case they get lost.
  • Do not use fireworks around pets.
  • Keep harmful chemicals such as lighter fluid and citronella products away from pets.
  • Don’t give pets table food. Many human foods are hazardous to animals.
  • Supervise children around pets who may be agitated or frightened by loud noises. Additionally, make sure children do not inadvertently leave behind toys, such as glow sticks, which dogs may chew and ingest.
  • Secure your pet in a safe, quiet, comfortable area at home while you enjoy fireworks and celebrations.

  • If traveling with your pet, bring health/vaccination certificates. Check any requirements if you are traveling internationally or flying.
  • Plan ahead to find pet-friendly hotels.
  • Install pet restraints, pet barriers or use a travel crate in your vehicle to avoid your pet being injured in an accident or distracting the driver.
  • Pack pet gear for your road trip: water bowl, toys, dog food, leash, grooming supplies and pet first-aid kit.
  • Never leave pets alone in an unattended vehicle, especially in hot weather.
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  • Learn water safety tips to keep dogs safe around pools and at the beach.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke (rapid panting, bright red tongue, thick sticky saliva, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea) and proper treatment.

Share your pet safety tip!

Celebrating the Fourth of July

statue-fireworksOne of the highlights of summertime is upon us: The Fourth of July celebration! Across America, families and friends will come together in backyards, on beaches and at parks in honor of this holiday.

Independence Day is also a reminder that we are fortunate to live in a country that affords the opportunities and privileges as ours does. It’s also an opportunity to recognize those who serve to protect and defend our freedom.

Today’s military personnel serve with incredible dedication, proving that every man and woman has the potential to be a hero. That’s one of the reasons I often feature characters with a military background in my Grayce Walters series. Sergeant Nick Welby and his bomb-sniffing golden lab, the lead characters in MEN UNDER FIRE, are an example of this.

To those who have served or are currently serving, I offer a special thank you on this Fourth of July. Know that your service and sacrifice are appreciated.

How will you be celebrating Independence Day? Are you vacationing? Attending a family reunion? Cooking for friends? For those in need of culinary inspiration, check out these classic All-American recipes. One of our family traditions on the Fourth is making ImageProxy.mvcs’mores. If you’re interested in making homemade marshmallows and graham crackers, Martha Stewart offers a couple of recipes. Let me know how they turn out!

Happy fireworks and freedom!