4th of July Fireworks and Your Dog

When people think of the 4th of July they think of fireworks. What people don’t think enough about, are their dogs. For a dog, fireworks can be very frightening. The dog does not understand what they are or why we are shooting them off. All they understand is that there is a lot of unpredictable, loud noise happening all around them. Some dogs may become very stressed by the excitement of the fireworks and may even run away. It is important to take important precautions to make sure that your dog stays safe during 4th of July festivities.

Keeping your dog safe and comfortable during your 4th of July celebration can be as easy as not bringing them along. For some dogs, just being in the secure setting of their own home is enough to offset the trauma of loud fireworks. For other dogs, location is irrelevant, the sound alone can cause such great anxiety that the dog may tremble and whine or even become nervously aggressive. Dogs such as these should be contained in a safe place, such as a familiar crate or an inner room that might be quieter. The most severe of situations may require actually medicating your dog to alleviate the stress caused by the noise of the fireworks.

Not all dogs are disturbed by the noise of 4th of July fireworks. Even those that are not fazed however should be watched closely. Since large numbers of people tend to gather on Independence Day, there is a greater chance of your beloved pet getting loose and possibly running off in the confusion. Make sure that you secure your pet and alert your guests that you have a dog that you do not want to run away. If there are small fireworks or firecrackers on hand, take every precaution to make sure that your dog does not get too close and get singed or accidentally ingest any of the explosives.

The 4th of July is certainly cause for celebration and fireworks are just part of it. Taking some simple precautions and looking after your dog can help insure that nothing ruins the festivities. Knowing your dog and how he reacts to loud noises, sudden movements and large groups of people can mean the difference between a terrified animal and a relaxed pet. If you know that your pet doesn’t react well under these circumstances, be sure to provide the most comfortable, secure setting possible and if necessary, request medicine from your veterinarian.

Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Dog:

#1 – Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

#2 – Keep your dogs inside during fireworks. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help. Don’t bring your dog to a fireworks show.

#3 – Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

#4 – If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate or lowering the blinds can also be helpful. Removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs.

#5 – Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

#6 – Sound Therapy: The music of Through a Dog’s Ear has been specifically designed to reduce canine anxiety and has been successfully utilized by dog lovers world-wide.

#7 – Tactile: There are canine wraps on the market that reportedly help sound phobic dogs. The patented design uses acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce stress. The wrap for your dog that provides gentle, constant pressure. Most dogs respond with the very first usage; some need 2-3 usages before showing significant improvement. You can buy it or you can make it yourself. 

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