The 4th of July holiday is usually a fun time for get-togethers with family and friends; it’s nice catching up with those you’re close to over the summer, enjoying the time outdoors, capping off Independence Day with a showy fireworks display.
For your dog though, the noise, heat, and crowds might not always be so enjoyable. Why could this be?
According to Dr. Sonja Olson, a senior clinician with BluePearl Veterinary Partners, this holiday can be particularly difficult for our furry friends: “Everything that happens in the summer, we see on the Fourth of July — and then you add fireworks into the mix.”
BluePearl sead that it sees a 55% increase of patients admitted to its hospital during this time. Does this mean dog owners are negligent of their pets? Not always.
But a trip to the doggie emergency room can be avoided if you know how to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
By taking these small simple steps, both you and your dog can get through the loud noise of this patriotic holiday just fine.
Exercise your dog a few hours before the fireworks display begins.
Physical activity will tire Fido out. It can also help lessen their anxiety, allowing them to remain calmer once the commotion starts.
Pet lifestyle expert, Nicole Ellis said: “Take your dog for a long walk before the holiday festivities begin.
“Make sure his collar or harness is tight and secure. The day of the Fourth can still be busy and overwhelming. And if your dog gets nervous from the crowds or the noise, he may try to slip out of his collar or harness and run away.”
Find a place indoors where your dog is comfortable.
Don’t let your dog run free about the house or yard. Even with a fenced-in yard or locked doors, your pet can still escape.
Put them in a bedroom with blankets or quilts on the floor. Keep the curtains closed so they won’t see the flashing lights from the fireworks.
Ensuring this space is doggie-proof is crucial as well: “We see animals who were scared or startled and that’s what gets them into trouble — they got hit by cars, or stepped on, or ran into something like a hot grill,” Olson said. When they run about, be sure they’ll be safe.
If your dog is easily startled by the loud noises, don’t leave them alone. Consider how you’d feel if you were afraid of loud noises. Add to that, you’re left in a room all alone.
If you know you’ll be away from home for a number of hours, be sure someone is there with your dog. Hire a dog sitter if you need to. Dogs panic when startled.
Ensuring their safety during this stressful time for them is of the utmost importance. Better to pay a dog sitter than to have a massive vet bill.
Play games listen to music or give them toys to distract them.
Another technique to help your pet make it through the holiday can let you have fun with your dog. Treats, bones or other toys can help keep their attention away from the noise outside.
“Drown out the noise of the fireworks by turning on the TV or playing music,” Ellis said. “Or, join your pet in the laundry room — running tennis balls in the dryer.”
You could use a shirt or vest to help calm your pet.
If those don’t work, you can buy a calming vest. You can even make your own version of a calming vest for your dog.
If your dog does end up escaping and running away, don’t dispare. Check with your local shelters. They hold on to dogs for weeks after the 4th. Be sure your dog is microchipped before the holiday. It will be easier for your dog to be returned to you.
With these easy tips, your 4th of July celebration can be fun and free of worry for all. Prepare not only for your human guests to enjoy themselves but for your furry ones too.
How does your dog react to fireworks or thunderstorms? Have you tried any of these tips? Did they work for you? Were there any tips we missed? Let us know.