July 4 is fast approaching, but many people start their celebrations early. More dogs go missing around July 4 than any other time of the year.

It's essential that you keep your dog in the house or on-leash with you when outside. With a 60 percent increase in lost pets around the holiday, do NOT rely on your fence to keep your dog from escaping. It is not uncommon for even the best-behaved dog to go through a window or sliding glass door out of fear of fireworks.

Take a moment today to ensure your dog is microchipped (with up-to-date contact info) and make sure your dog wears an appropriately fitted collar with dog tags (that also have your contact info).

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Don’t let the microchip give you a false sense of security, as they are NOT GPS tracking devices. A missing dog still needs to be tracked down and caught before the chip can be scanned. Sadly, that is much easier said than done.

Therefore, prevention is the best medicine. Take proactive steps to make sure your dog stays safe this July 4 holiday and summertime season!

Steve Reid is a certified dog trainer and owner of Somers-base, S.R. Dog Training, which serves Westchester and Putnam counties. For more information about S.R. Dog Training, visit srdogtraining.com or call 914-774-7654.