The Daily Bark @onebarkplaza wishes you a Happy and Safe 4th of July! Many families will be celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with cookouts, friends, and fireworks. It can be lots of fun for pet parents, but not so much for our dogs. Unfamiliar foods, loud bangs, crowds of people, and screaming fireworks can terrify dogs. Even those who don’t already have a sensitivity to thunderstorms or other harsh noises.
Dogs exhibit stress in a variety of ways. Pay close attention to your dog if you see her behaving in ways that are out of the ordinary. Common signs of dog stress are: panting, drooling, trembling, whining, barking, hiding, pacing, attempting to escape, and having potty accidents. Dogs who show these behaviors are trying to tell you that they do not feel safe.
Thankfully, you can enjoy your Fourth of July holiday — and so can your pup — by following these tips to keep your dog safe during the fireworks and celebrations. These suggestions can help you prepare your pup both before and during the holiday fanfare.
1. Create a safe space for your pup.
Set aside a specific area of the house to create a place for your dog to go where she knows she will be safe and sound. If you have a crate for your dog, use that space, or choose a corner of a room or under a table that is out of the way of the busyness and noise of the household and as far away from outside noise as much as possible.
Place positive distractions in the crate or safe space to keep your dog busy, such as an appropriate chew toy; mental engagement can distract your dog from strange noises. Add an old t-shirt or another piece of clothing with your scent on it to the crate or spot to increase your dog’s sense of security. If your dog is sensitive to loud noises, use a white noise machine, fan, or relaxing music to mask the sounds of fireworks. Always give your dog the option to walk in and out of the safe space. Locking her in there and away from the family will only increase her anxiety.
2. Ask your veterinarian about calming supplements and anxiety medications.
While you have a few days before the holiday, contact your veterinarian to ask about available medications or supplements that are approved for your dog’s use. Because anxiety can affect each dog differently, not all calming methods are right for all dogs. Your veterinarian can speak to over-the-counter products that may be effective, such as pheromone diffusers, calming collars, and anti-anxiety wraps like the Thundershirt. Prescribed medications may require your veterinarian to examine your dog to determine the right dosage of anti-anxiety drugs.
3. Be sure your dog is wearing proper identification.
The Fourth of July is when every community sees an uptick in loose and lost dogs. The 5th of July sees shelters overwhelmed with these displaced canines. In case your dog runs off in fear, you want to be sure she is wearing identification that is up to date and legible. A tag displaying her name, address, and your phone number should be securely attached to her collar. Make sure all the information can be clearly read.
Your dog should also be microchipped with updated registration information on file with your current contact information. If your dog is not microchipped, have a conversation with your veterinarian about having that done soon. It is a quick and inexpensive process that can save your dog’s life. If your dog does get lost, have a recent picture of her available to share on social media and on signs around the neighborhood.
4. Plan for plenty of exercise around the holiday.
A tired dog is a content dog, so plan to exercise your dog safely the day before and the day of the holiday. Taking a brisk walk or two, spending some time at the local dog park, or playing fetch in the backyard can let your dog expend his/her physical and mental energy. Just make sure your dog is on a leash wherever you go in case of neighbors nearby start celebrating the holiday early with some firecrackers. Exercise is the number one way to relieve your dog’s stress. Keep your dog moving and she will be too tired out to worry about loud noises later on.
5. Keep your dog indoors as much as possible.
People love to attend firework shows. Although, these displays are not safe for dogs who may panic and be traumatized exposed to so many loud, frightening noises and crowds of strange people. If you must attend a fireworks show, leave your dog at home in his/her safe space. He/she will be much more comfortable surrounded by a familiar environment. In fact, you might find it less stressful too. Whether it’s curling up in your jammies on the couch, snuggles your dog by your side, and/or binge watch TV. When your dog has to potty, secure him/her to a leash. This way they are safe if they get frightened should fireworks go off.
Whatever your Fourth of July plans, make sure your dog is safe and settled before you head out. If you’re staying in, keep your pup company and spend some quality time bonding over the holiday safely and securely. If you’ve purchased or planned on purchasing a puppy from onebarkplaza.com, as for delivery or pick up after the 4th of July weekend. Call us now! This would be best for the right start for your puppy.