The 4th of July is a great time for family and friends. It’s not uncommon to have friends over for a cookout and enjoy our very special national holiday. And when you have friends or family in the backyard, your dog(s) are sure to be out there with you.

However, how do you keep your dog safe in the backyard when you’re celebrating something like the 4th of July? It’s not exactly like your usual Saturday afternoon, it’s something special with more friends and special food. Thankfully we have some great ideas that will help you this summer.

Teach them important commands

One of the most important things your dog needs to know before you have a party is to not bolt out of the door every time it opens. It is not uncommon for a dog to run when the door finally opens, but with a little training and a few easy commands, you can stop that behavior.

Make sure your dog is well exercised

A tired dog is often a dog that doesn’t get into mischief. Take your dog(s) out for a long walk or jog before you have your party. If you don’t have a lot of time, hire a dog walker to come to take them out. Or play a vigorous game of fetch outside and let them run around the yard for the entire time before you have people over. If they have been outside and are tired out, then they will be unlikely to try and escape.

Fix up your fence

Inspect your fence for loose spots or holes your dog may have started digging. Check latches and make sure that the fence is secure. There’s no telling what your dog may do while you’re occupied on the grill. That’s why ensuring your fencing is up to snuff is extremely important.

Let your guests know the rules

Don’t forget to let your guests know to make sure gates and doors are always closed. If your dog is a known flight risk tell them and that way they will be ready to block them if they try to run. It’s definitely important that your friends know what is expected when it comes to your dog.

Put them in a secure place when necessary

If your dog isn’t the best listener or if you have a lot of guests that don’t always remember to shut the door or gate it may be more difficult to keep your dog in your yard. You can set them up a crate or area outside where they are secured. Sometimes the best place for your pet is inside your house, away from all of the commotion. This is especially true for when the fireworks start. Also, it is good for dogs that aren’t the most social or love to bolt out of the door no matter what. Set them up with all their essentials in a nice safe room. Let guests know your dog is in there and to not let them out. And don’t forget to check on them a few times and bring them some treats.

Summer cookouts are what make up some of our best memories. Keeping our pets safe during these parties will help those memories only be good ones and not ones filled with worry.