Does your dog look like the photos above during the 4th of July? With every little “pop”, “crackle” and “kaboom” is your dog freaking out? Barking, running around and trying to escape to somewhere safe? The 4th of July is extremely stressful for your dog, their hearing is 10 times more sensitive than ours. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to protect your dogs from becoming over stressed.
Here are some helpful 4th of July tips to help your dog cope with the fireworks:
- Feed your dog a little larger meal at dinner time. A full belly will make your dog relax more. Just like people, after you eat a big meal, most of the time you just want to sleep.
- Take your dog on a really long walk. After dinner, take your dog for a longer than normal walk, take a ball and have some FUN! A little extra exercise will help your dog release some of that built up energy and help your dog later when it’s time to relax.
- Give your dog a relaxing massage. Before the fireworks begin, give your dog a relaxing, calming and loving doggy massage. Your dog will love the attention and after the extended walk and added playtime, the massage will be greatly appreciated (and will obviously help your dog have “ZEN”).
- Make sure your dog is wearing a identification tag or has a microchip. It is better to be safe than sorry. You never know how your dog will react to the fireworks. You may have a house full of guests and by accident your dog may end up escaping the house and yard. If this worst case scenario happens, hopefully whoever finds your dog will be able to return him/her safely because of the tag or chip.
- Keep your dog indoors during the fireworks! Just before the fireworks begin, bring your dog indoors, close the windows and doors and turn on the television, radio or big loud room fan. Basically turn anything on that will drown out the sound of the fireworks.
- Keep all alcohol up and away from your dog. If your celebrating with friends and alcohol, sometimes it’s easy to accidentally put your glass somewhere your dog may reach. Alcohol is poisonous to dogs and can cause them some serious harm.
- Take turns dog sitting during the fireworks. Your dogs anxiety will be higher if left all alone, so it’s a good idea to take turns with your friends and family having someone in the room with your dog. Constant interaction during the fireworks will help your dog relax and have fun. Play with toys, play fetch, give dog treats, give more massages, etc.
- Present your dog with a new toy. During the fireworks would be a great time to give your dog a new toy to investigate, chew on and play with, creating a fun distraction.
- Stay upbeat and happy. During the fireworks, don”t baby your dog and play into the “Poor baby, it”s gonna be okay” attitude. This protection instinct will only create more anxiety for your dog. Just act like every other day – have fun, be happy and laugh with your dog.
Remember: NEVER punish your dog for their stressful reaction to the fireworks!