My Pet World: Don’t discipline dogs; train them to change behaviors and Fourth of July tips |

There are other predators in Florida, like coyotes and alligators, she says, that might be more of a concern to a small dog’s safety. I don’t know if the color of your dogs’ coats makes them more vulnerable, but it’s possible. Just to be safe, monitor your dogs’ outside time whenever you can and encourage Taco to stay closer to his pack by reinforcing his recall response through training.

Keeping pets safe over the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a stressful holiday for noise-phobic pets, and our dogs and cats may express their fears in numerous ways. Cats may run and hide and not be seen for hours. Dogs may pant, pace, tremble, vocalize, panic or destroy things. The challenge for any pet owner is to find the right combination of stress-reducing strategies to keep their pets calm over the noisy holiday weekend.

For both dogs and cats, it’s important to create a safe space inside your home with music or white noise that drowns out the sound of the fireworks. Pressure wraps, like Thundershirts and Anxiety Wraps, can ease frayed nerves. There are also veterinary-prescribed anxiety medications and over-the-counter products for stress that, when used separately, may help.

It often takes multiple strategies to calm pets over the Fourth of July holiday. Mix it up and determine what works best for your pets.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.

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