While celebrating July 4th is fun for us humans, it can be very stressful for our dogs. In fact, July 5th is one of the biggest days of the year for animal shelters. The loud noise caused by fireworks can make a dog panic and try to escape to a "safer place". Hey, if I suddenly thought bombs were going off all around me, I'd be trying to get to safety too! Unfortunately, that means they might be put in even more danger by getting out - winding up lost, injured or worse. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your dog for the holiday and its firework displays:
1. Make sure your pet is properly identified.
If they are micro-chipped and have ID tags, they have a better chance of getting back home in the event that they do run away. My dogs have their name and my phone number embroidered on their collar too, just as an added precaution.
2. Keep all gates and doors secured and locked.
Let your furbaby know that they are SECURED at home. You can add a combination lock on outside gates so they don't accidentally "swing open" and let your pup out.
3. Leave your dog at home, and stay with him if you can.
While is seems like fun for Fido to enjoy the outdoor festivities with you, a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place might make him freak out and seek shelter. And no, leaving him in the car is NEVER acceptable for a responsible dog parent. It's ideal if you can stay home to keep your dog calm, but if that's not possible, you can still create a safe environment while you are out.
4. Create a safe, familiar area indoors.
If you can't be home during the fireworks and commotion, there are a few simple things you can do to make your dog feel more at ease. Bring him indoors- ALWAYS. Leave the lights on, close the draperies, and turn on a familiar noise at a normal level (like tv or music) to help muffle the sound of fireworks outside. Keep your dog confined to a small area - if it's a crate, cover it with a blanket. If it's a small, inner room in your home, make sure they have familiar bedding and fresh water. If they become too worked up, water will give them a chance to cool off and calm down.
5. Check on them.
Always check on your dog as soon as you can after the fireworks have finished. Be prepared to give them some special attention and treats... it was a stressful night for goodness sake! Wishing you and your pupalups a Happy and safe July 4th!