Some dogs have outright noise phobias, and most do not like the sound of loud fireworks. Do whatever it takes to keep your pets safe and to keep them as comfortable and fear-free as possible through the upcoming holiday.
Safety first! Make sure your dogs are indoors – maybe even in a small room or kennel, especially if people are in and out of the home or your dogs are scared. The fourth of July is the number one day for pets to be lost.
Whatever you do, do not let your pets near the fireworks. Burns are a very real possibility. Scared/curious/happy/unsure dogs will often try to bite lit fireworks. I NEVER want you and your dogs to go through the aftermath of that.
Comfort is a close second to safety! If need be, discuss medication with your veterinary team, especially if your dogs’ fears are extreme.
Take a long walk or have an extended play time – if the weather is cool enough – before the evening begins, so your dogs will be tired. Sometimes that will help diffuse anxiety a bit.
If you are worried your pets will be scared, they may think you are worried about the bizarre explosions. If you are calm, they will pick up on that and often reflect your calm.
…and comfort your pets!
If your pets are nervous, PLEASE comfort them! Do whatever it takes – treats, play time, holding, petting, to get them through the week and especially the night of the Fourth.
Use a Thundershirt if it helps. (It probably will).
Use pheromone spray if it helps. (It probably will).
Play classical music.
Use a Kong with a soft treat inside or a treat puzzle to keep your dog distracted.
Keeping your dogs kenneled for safety sake will often double as a comfort to them. Unless you are concerned they may ingest it, include a favorite blanket or stuffed animal or t-shirt.
When all is said and done, reward your dogs for their bravery or attempted bravery, and remind them that this celebration comes only once a year!
Happy, Happy Independence Day, and to our international friends, Happy July Fourth! May the day be fun and non-scary for all of the people and all of the pets.
What do you do to help your dogs get through the fireworks?