Have a Pet-Safe Fourth of July!

 

We all love summer, especially because the warmer weather allows us to enjoy the great outdoors with our dogs. There are pool parties and barbeques to look forward to as well as the biggest summer holiday of all- Fourth of July. While most people love celebrating Independence Day in the United States of America, many of our pets can find this holiday frightening. Here are a few tips to keep your pets happy and safe this holiday season, so you all can enjoy it to the fullest:

  • Keep your pets inside at all times!
    • Though we may enjoy the sight and sound of fireworks, these festive displays can terrify many of our beloved pets.       In their panic, dogs will jump fences and dig their way out of their yards to try and get away from the noise. Shelters are inundated with lost dogs on July 5th– don’t let this become your furry friend. Keep Fido inside and in a secure room so he cannot come to harm trying to escape.
  • Have your dog properly identified.
    • If your dog does accidentally get out and run away, having proper identification with the dog’s name, your address and phone number can help someone safely return him to you.       Microchipping your pet is also advisable as you can electronically change addresses as you move and it will be with your dog even if his collar comes off.
  • Leave your dog at home.
    • If you are going out to watch fireworks displays, make sure to leave your dog at home in a safe, secure place so they do have to be up close to the loud and possibly frightening noises and bright lights.
  • Play calming classical music for your pet inside your house.
    • Having other calming sounds and music to listen to can calm down many animals and it doesn’t hurt to try it!
  • Allow your dog to go to a place where he feels safer.
    • Whether this is under the bed or in the basement, if your dog goes there to feel safer, allow them to do so as long as it is a safe place.
  • Try using a Thundershirt or calming supplements to make the event feel less stressful for your dog
    • Thundershirts are a type of pressure wrap that are supposed to hit certain pressure points on the dog’s body to relieve stress and help the dog feel calm. Train your dog to feel calm in the Thundershirt at least a few days before you use it during the actual fireworks- directions on how to do this come with the Thundershirt.
    • Calming supplements are available in most natural pet stores and include anything from pills to drops to sprays. Ask your vet which supplement might be the best for your dog
    • Not everything works for all dogs, but the products recommended above have helped many dogs since their release on the market and it is always worth a try if it might help your dog feel less stressed
  • Buy a sound CD to try and desensitize your dog to the sounds that scare it (fireworks, thunder, trains, traffic, kids playing, etc.)
    • There are many CDs on the market that have sounds of daily life that might be scary to many dogs. Though this may not help for this Fourth of July, it is worth the effort to try and desensitize your dog to certain sounds so future holidays may not be so stressful.
    • Begin with the CD on very low (low enough for your dog to not react negatively to it). Either feed your dog his dinner, treat him often, or play a game of tug with him during this time. Gradually, over many sessions, turn up the volume louder and louder until eventually you can play it at the volume it would be in real life and with your dog perfectly calm and happy.
    • Keep sessions short and go at your dog’s pace.       If your dog stops eating or playing and/or walks away, you are turning up the volume too quickly- lower the volume again and try moving forward more slowly.

 

Enjoy yourselves this Fourth of July and make sure to keep your pets safe and happy!