This Smart Tag Is an Essential Fourth of July Accessory for Dogs Afraid of Fireworks

Pawscout
Pawscout

Fireworks are an entertaining part of Independence Day for many people, but for pets, they can trigger panic. There are steps you can take to calm down your dog during fireworks shows, such as keeping them indoors, putting them in an anxiety vest, and giving them a walk beforehand, but when 170-decibel explosions are going off around them, there's a chance they may bolt. Animal shelters report a spike in new admissions each year on July 5 due to scared pets running from home. If you want to keep close tabs on your dog this Fourth of July, a smart pet tag can help.

Pawscout combines the technology of a pet microchip with the noninvasive convenience of a dog tag. The battery-powered tag snaps securely onto your dog's collar. After connecting it to the companion smartphone app via Bluetooth, you can upload your pet's personal profile to the device. Pawscout stores photos, medical records, behavioral details, and contact information. If your dog ever gets lost, you can use the app to alert other Pawscout users in the area. Anyone within a 300-foot radius of your pet will be able to see your dog's location on a map in the app.

Smart dog tag and smartphone app.
Pawscout

Even if you're the only person in your neighborhood with Pawscout, the system is an essential pet safety tool. You can program a "virtual leash" to let you know every time your dog wanders outside a certain range. And if you need to find a local veterinarian, groomer, or pet-friendly business, the Pawscout map can help with that as well.

The Pawscout tag can be purchased for $20 from Amazon, and there's no monthly fee to use it. Whether your pet is outfitted with a smart tag or not this Fourth of July, it's still important to pay extra close attention to them during the festivities. Here are some ways to keep them calm.

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Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.