Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy on the 4th of July
It's that time of year again. We pull out the red white and blue apparel, look up themed food and beverages, and head over to the local 4th of July parade and check out the best fireworks shows in town. For many people, it's their favorite time of year. But for their dogs it might be a different story. In fact, many dogs feel anxious and stressed when in comes to fireworks and Independence Day.
Did you know that the number of lost pets increases 30% from July 4th - 6th? It's mainly because of the loud noises, bright lights, and crowded areas that panicked pups are sent into flight mode.
Many owners already know the effect fireworks have on their dogs and elect to stay at home during the holiday evening. But others decide to take their pups with them as it doesn't seem like they are too bothered. Whatever your choice is, we have some tips for you to keep your dog safe and help with their anxiety.
1. Give them something else to focus on. Whether its their favorite stuffed kong or frozen treat they have to work on, a tasty distraction can help take their focus off the fireworks.
2. Watch the table scraps. Barbecuing is a tradition on the 4th, but it's also a time where guests might feed your dog something they shouldn't, like onions.
3. Find out if and when your neighborhood (and the neighborhoods around you) are having their fireworks display so you can plan around it.
4. Try and introduce your dog to similar noises early and slowly. This video on Youtube offers instructions for slowly "firework training" your dog.
5. Talk to your vet and see if they can recommend any products that will help your pet cope with the stress.
6. Stay calm! Your dog can sense when you're feeling panicky and will mirror your attitude, so it's important to keep your cool, even if they aren't.
7. Be patient! Take time to secure your fenced in area so they aren't able to dig under or jump over. And the constant barrage of noises that are unfamiliar and scary, may cause them to have an unexpected accident .... oops!
8. Inside is best. Even if your dogs don't seem bothered by the noise and crowds, you can never know for sure if they are completely comfortable, and something may spook them and cause them to take off. Better to be safe than sorry!
1. Make sure your dog is wearing current ID. Even if your dog is normally okay with loud noises, something might spook him into taking off or wandering away. Make sure his tags are up to date so he can be returned to you quickly if he runs off.
2. Make sure you keep your pets away from sparklers, fireworks and citronella candles
3. Do not use any sunscreens or summer sprays on your pets that are not specifically made for them
4. Do not place glow ropes or other ‘festive party favors’ ON your pets. If digested, they could cause serious health problems or even death!
5. Keep your pet hydrated during these celebratory times and make sure to fill their water bowls often!
If you are staying at home:
1. Create a safe area. Ideally a smaller area with limited light and noise will help them feel comfortable and safe
2. Thundershirts. You might think these are just for thunderstorms, but they actually help calm many anxieties in dogs.
3. Ready your house. Draw curtains, but leave a lamp on so your dog isn't left in darkness. Try to keep the TV or radio on to drown out some of the loud bangs and add a sense of familiarity. You could also place lavender scented items to soothe your pet.