Summer safety tips for dogs

By Julianne Peixoto

July 2, 2014 Updated Jul 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) With the 4th of July approaching, veterinarian Suzanne Smith says it's important to know what to do to keep your dog safe during fireworks displays.

"I think most dogs that don’t have, maybe any hunting training are very scared of fireworks," said Smith. "When a dog's afraid, they will run away even from a loved one that they know."

If a dog will be outside during any fireworks displays, Smith says owners should put their pets on leashes or keep them in fenced-off yards.

She says the best way to comfort your pet if they're afraid of the noise is to minimize what they hear.

"Place a white noise in your house, have a cool environment for your dog and maybe noise proof it in a way, so have an air conditioner or a fan running to kind of dampen the sound," said Smith.

While fireworks are merely frightening to dogs, heat can be harmful to them.

"We’ve seen heat stroke from pets left in the yard too long, and with the car as well, so it’s a serious problem."

A serious problem, perhaps, but also a preventable one.

"I would encourage people if they’re traveling with their dog to have somebody stay with their pet in the car and have the air conditioner running while they run into the store," said Smith. "I would not leave the pet unattended with just the windows cracked. That’s not enough air circulation, and it’s super, super hot in the car -- the dog would suffer greatly if left in there for even just minutes."

If dogs are kept outside in the heat for long periods of time, Smith says there are three small, simple rules to follow.

"Shelter, shade, water, always throughout the day," said Smith.

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