The Fourth of July is a time for celebration! Fireworks, barbecues, and time with family and friends. But for many dog owners, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety.
Dogs can become scared or anxious when they hear the fireworks going off, and this can lead to them becoming destructive or even running away.
Let’s take a look at some tips on how to keep your dog calm on the Fourth of July.
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There are a few things you can do to help your dog stay calm during the Fourth of July.
1. Make Sure Your Dog Has a Safe Place to Hide During Fireworks.
This could be a crate or dog bed in a quiet room, or even just a spot under a table or desk. If your dog is scared of fireworks, they may try to hide under furniture or in small spaces. Help them out by providing a safe space for them to go.
If you dog is not crate trained, now is a good time to start! Getting your dog used to being in a crate will make it easier for them to stay calm in one when the fireworks start.
If your dog is particularly anxious, you may want to consider using a ThunderShirt. This is a garment that helps to apply gentle, constant pressure around your dog’s body and has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety in some dogs.
They not only work great for fireworks, but also for thunderstorms, vet visits, travel or any time your fury baby is experiencing anxiety.
2. Play Calming Music for Your Dog Before and During the Fireworks Display.
There are many dog-specific calming music CDs available, or you can simply play some soft, classical music. The idea is to help your dog relax and feel safe.
3. Give Your Dog Plenty of Water and Snacks to Keep Them Hydrated and Full.
A full stomach can help to calm some dogs, so make sure they have plenty to eat and drink. Avoid any new foods or treats, as these can sometimes upset a dog’s stomach.
4. Take Your Dog on a Long Walk or Run Before the Fourth of July to Wear Them Out.
A tired dog is a calm dog, so get them out for some exercise before the fireworks start. This will help to tire them out and make it more likely they’ll take a nap during the fireworks display.
If it’s hot outside, make sure to take precautions to keep your dog cool and hydrated.
5. Make Sure All Your Pet’s Vaccinations Are Up to Date in Case of an Emergency.
If your dog does happen to get scared and run off, you’ll want to make sure they’re protected in case they come into contact with other animals.
Make sure all their vaccinations are up-to-date and that they’re wearing a collar with ID tags with the correct contact information.
6. Keep Calm Yourself
Dogs are very good at picking up on our emotions, so if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, they will likely reflect that. Try to stay calm and relaxed yourself, and this will help your dog to do the same.
7. Provide a Distraction
If your dog is getting anxious, try to provide a distraction. This could be a favorite toy or chew bone. If they’re still feeling stressed, you can try giving them a short massage or gently rubbing their ears.
8. Keep Curtains or Blinds Closed
If the fireworks are visible from your house, keep the curtains or blinds closed to help minimize the noise and flashes of light. This will create a calm environment for your dog and help to reduce their anxiety.
9. Cuddle Your Dog
If your dog is feeling scared, try cuddling them or holding them close. This will help to calm and comfort them. Use his or her favorite blanket to make the experience more relaxing.
10. Keep Your Dog Calm with Aromatherapy
There are many dog-specific calming essential oils that can help to reduce anxiety in dogs. Try diffusing a few drops in your home before the fireworks start or applying them to your dog’s collar or behind the ears.
This one from ThunderEssence is all natural and made with chamomile, lavender and Egyptian geranium. Use as an area or body mist. You can even try using it in combination with the Thundershirt.
11. Just Stay Home
If your dog is really anxious and nothing seems to be helping, it may be best just to stay home and forego attending any outside festivities.
This will help to avoid any stressful situations and allow your dog to feel safe and secure in their own environment.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your dog calm and safe during the Fourth of July. If your dog is particularly anxious, consider speaking with a veterinarian about other options that may be available to help reduce their stress.
Above all, remember to stay calm yourself. Your dog will pick up on your emotions and this can make the situation worse.
With a little preparation, you can make the Fourth of July a fun and safe holiday for the whole family, including your furry friend.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!