4th of July Tips

Hi Friends – 

Be sure to tune into NBC 15 this Friday, July 4th. Giene Keyes will offer life-saving tips for your pets on this holiday weekend.  You won’t want to miss it!  In the meantime, here is some important information to know…


For many of us, hanging out with friends on the 4th of  July is just what the doctor ordered. We love to include our pets, especially when we are outside enjoying the day.  While it may seem like a fun idea to bring Fluffy with you to the fireworks, or feed her scraps from the picnic table, in reality this is a potentially dangerous and scary weekend.  Following these tips will help to ensure your pet is safe, and give you safety of mind…


Many things that we have around on Independence Day can be harmful, and even fatal for dogs. Please be sure to keep your dog safe from things like: Citronella candles, insect repellent, glow sticks/jewelry, matches, lighter fluid, and alcoholic drinks. Many of these items are highly toxic to our pets, they can cause stomach irritation, intestinal blockage, kidney disease and even death.

Giene's old dog, Maggie... She always felt safe in the bedroom closet during the 4th of July :)

All summer you can find us with bottles of sunscreen and insect repellent.  If it doesn’t say “for use on animals”, don’t apply it on your pet! Ingestion of these products can cause drooling, vomiting diarrhea.  The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can also lead to neurological problems.  Keep these a safe distance from your pet when storing and applying to people.

We usually have a lot of food around over the summer holiday! Be sure to keep your pet on their normal diet. They are not as used to a diet change as we are, and greasy table scraps can upset their tummies easily. Remember, many foods that are okay for us are toxic to our pets – Onions, chocolate, coffee, grapes, raisins, avocado, and many more!

Never leave your pet alone in the car.  This is a busy and usually hot weekend.  Dogs have been known to break through glass windows to escape heat and loud noises.  They can suffer heat stroke and even death in a matter of minutes.  Partially left open windows provide little relief, and a big opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

Make sure your pets are micro-chipped and wearing up-to-date identification tags. Double-check their collar to make sure it won’t slip off in an emergency, so that if they become lost, they can be returned promptly.  If you find an animal, be sure to take him to your local animal shelter, where he will have the best chance of being reunited with his owners.


Put your pet in the house in a safe area if you are going to use fireworks or sparklers in your yard. Lit and even unused fireworks can pose a danger to pets.  Toxic substances like potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals are something you do not want your dog exposed to!

Refrain from taking your dog to the fireworks show!  Large crowds, loud noises, bright lights. Even well-socialized dogs have a stressful time. Please be kind to your pets and leave them at home.  Quiet, sheltered and escape-proof areas are best.


Although most of us would like our pets with us, the kindest thing you can do is to leave your pet at home while you enjoy the fireworks. Large crowds, loud noises, bright lights. Even the well-socialized dogs have a stressful time, please be kind to your pets and leave them at home.  Quiet, sheltered and escape-proof areas are best.

If your pet feels safe in a bath tub or other small space, let them go there, do not try to lure them out.  Growing up we had a Border Collie mix that would run to the basement and hide under the washtub at the first sound of a firework!  Be sure to remove any items your pet could potentially destroy or harm themselves with.  Leaving a TV, radio or white noise will help to drown out the loud bangs coming from outside.

Take your pet out to potty before dark, and be sure it’s on-leash. You can see your dog, and a surprise boom from a firework is less likely during daylight.

Never leave your pet outside unattended.  Yes, dogs can scale 8’ fences. Yes, dogs can break through picture windows.  In a state of panic, pets who wouldn’t normally leave their yard may run and become lost, or tangled in their chains.  Bringing them in the house or cool safe garage is the best option. If your pet is crate trained already, this is very safe and secure for them.

Have a new pet? You might want to stay at home this year if you are unsure of how your new pet might react to the busy and loud weekend…

If you know ahead of time that your pet will be extremely distraught during this weekend, consult your veterinarian for ways to help alleviate anxiety.  Dog Face can also help with behavior modification to help your pet overcome his fears.

Resources for lost pets:

Lost Dogs of Wisconsin: http://lostdogsofwisconsin.org/
Dane County Humane Society: http://www.giveshelter.org
Green County Humane Society: http://www.greencountyhumane.org/

Click here for 4th of July Article >>

As always, thank you allowing us to be a part of your family, your dogs learning and growing – We love what we do and we’re honored to help!


Giene Keyes and the Dog Face Behavior Team 


About Dog Face

Giene Keyes, CPDT – KA Owner & Founder of Dog Face, LLC & Shooting Star Portuguese Water Dogs Giene started working with dog behavior in 1990 when she adopted a 4-year old Greyhound from the racing track. To date he is the most severe separation anxiety case that she has seen. He taught Giene about the psyche and learning process of dogs. It wasn’t until Giene was training her little pot-bellied Labrador puppy in 1995 that she really became interested in the actual training process of canines. Starting her small training business in 1997 she developed her own methods and ideas of positive reinforcement. She took what she had learned from her Greyhound, as well as positive methods she used to train horses, to create what is now the base of our training methods in the classes we teach today. Giene is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist in Southern Wisconsin. After winning Best of Madison for two years in a row, Giene sold her Madison Dog Daycare to devote her time to dog behavior and helping owners create harmony with their pets in their homes. Specializing in aggression and difficult dog cases, Giene also works with rescue groups and shelters, evaluating dogs for adoption, developing Canine Aggression Management programs, and educating staff on dog language and behaviors. She has provided behavior consultations for service dog organizations, rescue groups and dog daycares throughout the Midwest. She is often contacted by police departments to work with individuals that have dangerous dogs. As a mother of 3 young children, Giene also realizes the importance of family dog training. She incorporates realistic training methods and helps to incorporate dogs into the family. She is an Instructor with the American Red Cross in Pet CPR and First Aid, a Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator with the American Kennel Club, and a Licensed Judge with the WI Dept of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection. Giene routinely presents seminars on Dog Behavior, Training, and Operant Conditioning as well as educating her staff on dog body language and pack mentality. Giene is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer. Giene has been a regular guest on popular Madison radio shows and interviewed on numerous evening newscasts. Giene has also been featured in a number of local magazines, including the cover for Wisconsin Woman in 2010. Giene has also been highlighted in the Wisconsin State Journal for her work with Chicken Clicker Training, improving dog training skills along with timing and observation, and recently interviewed for a Nationwide Podcast. She enjoys holding training workshops across the state. If you would like to learn more about Giene, Dog Face and the services they offer, please go to the Dog Face web site at www.DogFacePet.com. Please feel free to contact Giene of any member of the Dog Face Behavior Team anytime!
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