The Fourth of July is a fun holiday for us, but scary for our pets. According to PRNewswire, animal shelters across the US report a 30% increase in missing pets every year. Fireworks are a loud, unexpected noise occurring multiple times, so it’s no wonder our pets can become frightened. We’ve written some tips to help you keep them safe and hopefully calm on the big event.
Lots of exercise!
One way to help mitigate their anxiety is to give them plenty of exercise before the big fireworks show. Taking them on a long walk or to a dog park can let them blow off some steam and tucker them out. When the two of you get back home, they may be tired enough to sleep through the loud noises.
Check all escape routes
If your dog is skittish around loud noises, it may be better to keep them home safe than taking them to the fireworks show with you. Still, some dogs will become so scared of the noise that they’ll try to escape or potentially hurt themselves trying. When fireworks start, check that all doors, windows, gates, or anything your dog could get through is secure.
If you do decide to take your dog with you to the show, keep them leashed and close by.
Turn up the TV
A popular way to calm your dog is to turn on familiar sounds they know and are comfortable with. When you leave for fireworks, you can turn the TV on or put on some relaxing music to drown out the firework noise.
Give lots of comfort
When your dog is scared, talk to them in a calm voice to let them know as best you can there’s nothing to worry about. It’s been found dogs can become affected by your stress. If you or someone else watches your dog during the fireworks show, comfort them with lots of pets. They may still be nervous, but comforting them can prevent them from potentially hurting themselves.
Turn their attention to a long-lasting treat or toy
Before the big show, give your dog a long-lasting treat or chew toy they can munch on for hours to distract them from the loud sounds. Bully sticks, frozen Kongs, and marrow bones are great options to treat your pup on the big day. Combined with exercise, relaxing sounds, and lots of comfort, it’ll help your dog towards staying calm during the show.
Take them to dog daycare
Okay, so we may be a tad biased, but many of our customers like to bring their dogs for boarding over the July 4th holiday because they know they’ll be safe and sound during the big fireworks show. They’re away from the noise, they’re with other dogs to exercise and play with, and they get lots of love and attention from staff. Dog daycare isn’t for every dog, but if you think your dog could benefit from the added safety and bonus of play that day, it’s another option to consider.
How does your dog react to fireworks? Do you have additional tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Have a safe and happy 4th!