Who else loves July 4th? I always look forward to the yummy BBQ food, family time, and pretty fireworks. While you may share my excitement for the holiday, our pups certainly don’t!
Many dogs are afraid of fireworks, which makes sense since their ears are so much more sensitive than ours. So when your local fireworks display is set off, it may trigger your dog to freak out. Plus, according to Pet Finder, more dogs get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. That’s a really scary statistic!
To help keep your pooch safe this Independence Day, check out the following nine tips!
1. Take Your Pup For a Run In The Morning
One of the best things you can do leading up to your July 4th celebration is to make sure your pup burns off any pent-up energy. Going for a run or playing a long game of fetch will help make your dog tired and less likely to act out.
While physically stimulating your pooch is something you should do before any potentially stressful situation, it’s also an important daily practice.
2. Mentally Stimulate Your Pup With Games
Along with physical exercise, mental stimulation is another great way to tire out your pup. Before your big bash, let them spend some time playing with interactive toys and puzzles. There are a variety of dog puzzles on the market. They each require sightly different problem-solving skills and offer various challenge levels. But they all have one thing in common — you hide treats somewhere in the puzzle and your dog has to figure out how to get them out.
3. Keep Your Dog Home During July 4th Parties
While it may seem fun to take your dog with you to your holiday party, it’s not really the best idea — especially if the people you’re partying with are planning to set off fireworks.
To help your canine kid feel safe and secure, don’t bring him to a fireworks display. Instead, keep your pooch at home.
4. Set Up a Comfortable Room To Keep Fido Safe & Calm
To help keep your dog calm, leave him in a cozy spot of your home—like the bedroom. Some tips:
- Keep the blinds down to help block out the sights of bright fireworks.
- If your dog is crate trained then put him in the crate with a blanket around the sides. This will help to block out the sights of bright fireworks, as well as muffle the sound a bit.
- Help reduce sounds of loud firework booms and bangs by keeping the television on or playing some soothing music. Music can be extremely effective in calming your anxious dog. While you can simply turn on Pandora, there are playlists designed specifically for calming dog anxiety. For example, the company Through a Dog’s Ear offers a selection of pet-calming tunes. It comes pre-loaded with 4 hours of clinically-tested music.
- Use a Dog Appeasing Pheromone Diffuser. DAP is a synthetic chemical that’s based on a hormone produced by lactating female dogs. It’s this hormone that helps keep puppies calm. Scientific studies show DAP works with puppies, but researchers say it’s unclear if DAP works with anxious adult dogs. Still, if you ask me, it’s worth a try! DAP comes as a plug-in diffuser with vials that last for 30, 60, or 90 days. Don’t worry about these synthetic pheromones stinking up your house — humans can’t smell it.
5. CBD Oil
If you’re a regular reader here at Proud Dog Mom then you know I’m a fan of CBD for dogs. It offers many benefits to our dogs and anxiety relief is one of the most commonly talked about! I’ve been giving it to my Chihuahua, Diego, for a couple of years and have noticed three major improvements: He no longer seems bothered by joint pain, it’s soothed his seasonal allergies, and his mood has drastically improved.
I give Diego the Cannanine brand and trust it completely. It’s an organic, full-spectrum oil that’s manufactured in the USA from Colorado-grown hemp. It’s been tested and found to be free of heavy metals, harmful bacteria, yeast, mold, and other toxins. Plus, there’s zero THC. Check it out HERE!
I give Diego a dose every morning with his breakfast. Check the bottle for proper dosing for your pup.
6. Lay Off The BBQ Scraps/Leftovers
While it’s great to feed your pup fresh foods, not all “human foods” are safe for dogs. In fact, some foods that you would consider healthy—like onions and grapes—are actually toxic to canines and can result in death if ingested. Be mindful of seasoned food and meats that are marbled with fats. Additionally, any sudden change to your pet’s diet can cause stomach upset.
7. Avoid Human Sunscreens and Bug Sprays
Human sunscreens and bug sprays may work for you, but they can be toxic to your dog. They often contain zinc oxide, PABA, and other chemicals that should not be licked or ingested. Instead, use a formula that is designed specifically for dogs. Like this one:
8. Be Sure Your Pup Wears an Up-To-Date ID Tag
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, according to Pet Finder, more dogs get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. It’s always best to be proactive than reactive. So make sure your pup wears an up-to-date ID tag that has your contact information on it.
9. Take a Current Photo Of Your Pups
As long as you are careful, your pup should be just fine. However, you should always prepare for the worst. So before heading out to your July 4th celebration, take a current photo of you with your dog. That way, in case he does go missing, you can blast the community with an up to date photo. Plus, having a photo with you in it proves you’re your dog’s momma.
Have a happy and safe 4th!