How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Calm During July 4th Fireworks
Celebrating Independence Day July 4th is a fun-filled affair with backyard barbeques, picnics in the park and parades downtown. The daytime outdoor activities are a delight for dogs. Come nightfall, the fireworks can be a nightmare for some.
Provide a Secure and Comfortable Place
Some dogs respond to their fear of fireworks by bolting, running away from the perceived threat. Prevent your dog from going lost on July 4th. Keep your dog indoors in a secure, escape-proof place. Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags with legible contact information in case he/she does escape and run.
Ideally the secure spot should also be a place of comfort. Our family had an Airedale who felt most secure lying down in our cast iron bathtub during fireworks and storms. One of our Yorkies takes refuge in the corner of the couch with a favorite blanket. Our friend’s Yorkie feels safest hiding in a clothes closet.
Dogs often pant when nervous and can become dehydrated. Make fresh drinking water accessible at all times.
Exercise and Drain Energy Before the Fireworks Begin
A tired dog has less energy to react to frightening things like fireworks and storms. Drain your dog’s energy during the day with increased exercise, walks and playtime. Avoid introducing new activities or foods that may increase nervousness or cause stomach upset. Keep everything in your dog’s comfort zone.
Try using popular calming aids like the Thundershirt or any tight shirt, DAP pheromone diffusers, and relaxing music. Television can help distract or cover up firework noise. Dogs with serious anxiety issues and medical conditions may benefit from prescription sedatives from a veterinarian.
General July 4th Pet Safety
If you are hosting a party at home, secure pets where they cannot accidentally slip out the door. Guests, especially younger children, may not be as mindful of open doors. Food dropped on the ground or easily accessible on tables can also pose a risk to your pet. Alcohol and some foods are toxic to dogs. Supervise your dog closely or designate a safe place for him/her to relax.
Enjoy a fun-filled and safe holiday while minimizing your dog’s stress with these tips.