The Fourth of July can be a frightening holiday for our canine companions. These two simple steps will help you ease his fear and keep him safe.
While humans enjoy the glitter of fireworks on the Fourth of July, they can cause dogs a lot of stress. In fact, many dogs will end up running away out of fear from the loud noises. The following two-step guide will help you keep your dog calm, safe and secure this Independence Day.
1. Know your dog
The best way to prepare for holidays like the Fourth of July is to anticipate how your dog might react under the stress of the fireworks. As a dog owner, knowledge is power, and the more you know about your dog and his personality, the more you will feel confident in your ability to prepare and keep him safe.
Take time to understand your dog’s history and stress levels. If you adopted a dog that has experienced a traumatic upbringing, chances are he’ll have a worse reaction to fireworks than a pup who was properly trained and cared for from a young age. Being aware of his past – and the resulting behavior patterns – will better equip you to keep him calm and fear-free.
2. Leave your dog at home
You might want your dog to share in the festivities of the Fourth of July. But the best way to avoid having a scared (or runaway) dog is to leave him at home. Fireworks can cause dogs stress and, just like with people, this stress can cause serious reactions – both physically and emotionally. Dogs can act out as a coping mechanism for stress, resorting to begging, digging, barking and, in the case of loud noises like fireworks, running away.
Plan to keep your dog indoors, preferably with the windows and doors closed and the TV on low to cancel out the noise of any fireworks in the neighborhood. Ensure that he’s comfortable and has his favorite toys with him. If you are celebrating at your house, arrange for someone your dog is comfortable with to take him for the night, or put him in a puppy hotel. It may seem extreme, but keeping dogs – especially ones who are easily stressed – away from the noise is the best way to guarantee their safety.
Prepare for the worst
If arrangements can’t be made and your furry friend tags along with you to the party, it’s important to come prepared. Whether you’re going to a cookout or a fireworks show, bring the products that you trust to keep your dog safe if fear strikes. Natural remedies like flower essences, essential oils and CBD can be used to instill a sense of relaxation in fearful dogs, while the advent of technology has given pet parents the ability to track their pooches if the worst happens. Consider having your pup wear a GPS collar (in addition to his tags) to ensure that if he does get away, you can easily and quickly locate him.
With some extra care and preparation, you and your furry friends can enjoy the holiday with nothing to fear. Happy celebrating!
By Haeleigh Hyatt, Director of Training
Read it in Animal Wellness