With the fourth of July just around the corner, fireworks will be popping off every weekend. Some dogs, like hunting breeds, don’t mind fireworks but most dogs do. They aren’t just annoyed by them, they are terrified of them. On the fourth of July more dogs go missing than any other day of the year. On July 5th the shelters become flooded with found dogs. Keep your dog safe and comfortable this year with these suggestions:
1. Make sure your dog has a safe, small area they can go.
If your dog is crate trained they will probably want to be in there. Some dogs will curl up in the bath tub and others will hide under the bed. If you’re concerned about your dog hiding under something and not coming back out, be sure to block off that area and make them aware of the safe space you have created for them.
2. Keep your dog inside and make sure he/she is wearing their tags. The loud noise, smell and sight of fireworks can cause a dog to panic and their instinct will be to run from it. Dogs get very creative when they need to and can find a way out of your backyard. Your safest bet is to keep your pet inside throughout the firework shows. You can leash them up and take them outside to use the restroom but recommend not leaving them outside unsupervised. Just to be safe it is a good idea to have your pets collar on with their tags and information attached. This way, in the off chance they do run away, someone can contact you if they are found.
3. Keep your dog occupied. Earlier in the day take your dog on a nice long walk (or call us and we will take care of that for you) to tire them out. Having extra pent up energy will only add to the nervousness later on. During the fireworks give your dog something to do, like a frozen kong with peanut butter inside or a puzzle toy. You can play games with your pet to keep them distracted if you are home.
4. Try sound and scent therapy. Like just about everything else humans need, their is ver-
sion just for dogs! There is music designed to calm and soothe dogs. If you do buy some peaceful dog music, start playing it before the fireworks begin to make sure your dog is calm before the action. There are also scents you can spray or massage onto your dog to calm their nerves. So when everyone asks what your doing for the holiday you can say your relaxing to some dog music and giving your pup a massage.
5. Utilize a thunder shirt or medication when necessary. If your dog has a tendency to lose his mind during fireworks and there is no calming him/her down it may be time to use one of these items. You can get a sedative from the vet or buy an anxiety wrap for the dog but it is important to put the dogs in a calm state beforehand. If the fireworks begin and your dog is already in a panicked state the wrap or drug will not bring them into a calm state. They may settle down a bit but internally they will still be pretty freaked out.
Keep in mind your dog takes notice of your mood and cues. If you are feeling nervous or anxious about your dog reacting to the fireworks that will only amplify their fear. Stay calm and peaceful to help your dog be a better state of mind. Share this post and remind friends and neighbors to keep their animals safe this year.