Who else loves July 4th? I love the yummy barbecues and pretty fireworks. While you may share my excitement for the holiday, our pups certainly don’t! Many dogs are afraid of the loud booms and bangs 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. 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 seven 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 some energy. Going for a run or playing games will help make your pooch 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. Click here to see my top 5 ways to mentally/physically stimulate your dog.
2) 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 your party is going 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 and inside your house.
3) Set Up a Comfortable Room To Keep Your Pooch Calm
To help keep your dog calm, leave him in a cozy spot of your home—like the bedroom. I also recommend keeping the blinds down. 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.
Also, block out the loud sounds by keeping the television on or playing some soothing music. Music can be extremely effective in calming an anxious dog. While you can simply turn on Pandora and play soothing music, there are playlists specifically designed for calming dog anxiety. For example, the company Through a Dog’s Ear offers a selection of pet-calming tunes. They even sell a portable music player called the iCalmDog 2.0. It comes pre-loaded with 4 hours of clinically-tested music.
Another way you can help keep your fur baby calm during July 4th is to get a diffuser. Turning on a diffuser will fill their room with the calming scent of essential oils (like lavender). *See some other tips to calm an anxious dog here!
4) Lay Off The BBQ Scraps/Leftovers
While it’s great to feed your pup nourishing human foods, not all “human foods” are safe for your dog. In fact, some foods that you would consider healthy—like onions, garlic, and grapes—are actually toxic to canines and can result in death if ingested. Additionally, any sudden change to your pet’s diet can cause stomach upset. *Click here for a list of human foods that are toxic to your dog.
5) 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:
6) 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.
7) 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 your dog. That way, in case he does go missing, you can blast the community with an up to date photo.
Have a happy and safe 4th!