It’s that time of year again! Time for hot dogs, apple pie, and–for some pups and their parents–those darn dreaded fireworks. For many dog owners, the next two weeks are the worst time of the year, as many start setting off noisemakers early. Here are a few tips to help your dog (and you!) survive the upcoming revelry.
#1 – Keep your dog indoors
Not only is the noise much louder outside, but Fourth of July sees an upswing in lost pets. Some dogs get scared, find a way out of the yard, and run for their lives. Also, watch that your dog doesn’t bolt out the door if you happen to have it open during an ill-timed firework.
#2 – Make some (white) noise
However, having some “white noise” in the background such as soothing music (try these CD’s made specifically to calm dogs and work on overcoming their firework fear), the TV, even fans can help drown out the noise that’s happening outside, leading to a calmer dog. Just don’t blare whatever you are playing – that won’t help your dog, either.
#3 – Stay home
Your dog will be a lot less anxious if you are there and you can ensure she doesn’t escape. Some dogs get so frantic and will even jump through windows in an attempt to flee the noise.
#4 – Create a quiet space
Most dogs that are fearful want to hide. Help your dog feel comfortable by creating a “den” for them to hide in. A covered kennel in a quiet back room with white noise can really help. Give them a favorite chewy or stuffed Kong to occupy them.
#5 – Try an Anxiety Wrap
There are many different brands on the market including the ThunderShirt and the Anxiety Wrap, which was tested by Tufts University and is approved by them to diminish signs of fear in dogs during thunderstorms. No time to run to the pet store? You can also grab a scarf and try this quick and easy anxiety wrap hack.
#6 – Make sure ID information is up to date
In case your dog does escape during the festivities, be sure she will find her way home. This means she is wearing her collar with ID tags and has a microchip, both with up-to-date information. Why two forms of ID? Because someone may find your dog and not know about microchipping, or maybe the microchip can’t be read by the scanner at the vet she’s taken to. Also, tags can be lost. Two IDs are better than one!
#7 – Pay the vet a visit
If your dog has severe anxiety this time of year, go to your vet and ask them about prescriptions that may help ease your dog’s anxiety to get through the holiday.
#8 – Consider boarding
If you are going to be out for the night and your dog has a daycare he just loves, consider leaving him there with other dog buddies and a staff to keep an eye on him. Plus, many day cares are so well-insulated, and there is so much noise from other dogs barking, that your dog may not even hear the fireworks on the big night. Note: this is NOT the day to try boarding for the first time! It will just stress your dog out even more.
#9 – Exercise
Dogs that get plenty of exercise before people start setting fireworks off will have less energy to get worked up and will be more likely to sleep through everything.
#10 – Take them out one more time before the noise
Another thing to be sure and do is to take your dog out for his last potty break before the noise starts. A lot of nervous dogs won’t go after the noise begins (they might not eat either!), so feed him early, too.
Try Project Paws ™ Advanced All-Natural Calming Chews for Dogs – your dog will think he’s just getting a tasty treat until his anxiety melts away!
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