Fourth of July is a day when we all gather together with friends and family for some barbecue, drinks, and general fun in the sun.
And in the evening, most places top off the day of celebration with fireworks.
The brightly-colored lights in the sky might be entertaining for us humans to watch, but unfortunately for our dogs, they don’t see the fun in fireworks.
In fact, for them it’s a case of fireworks being too much noise.
Dogs are actually more susceptible to noise than cats. Dogs are more likely to get nervous and try to bolt, unlike cats, who tend to hide beneath furniture until they feel safe again.
Not surprisingly, this causes a record-breaking number of pets go missing during July 4th.
During the 4th of July, keep an eye on your pets for any obvious signs of behavioral changes. For example, if you notice your healthy dog suddenly trembling, salivating, yawning, or attempting to hide when there are loud sounds, then there’s a possibility they’re experiencing stress.
Should you leave them alone during the fireworks, then there’s a high probability you’ll come home to a destroyed house or a missing dog.
If for whatever reason you absolutely have to leave them on their own, here are a couple tricks you can try to help them reduce their stress levels.
You can leave them at home with a stuffed, frozen treat during the fireworks. Make sure that the treat is one that will take them a while to get through.
You can also train your pet to withstand loud noise and confusion. It may take a lot of invested time to train them to adapt to noise. You can gradually do it over time, bringing them to louder areas when going on walks, eventually walking them past construction sites or concerts once they are showing comfort with loud sounds.
Another thing you can try, is leaving them with something pleasant to listen to. As we know, dogs are already particularly sensitive to sounds. You can turn that into a positive, by playing soothing, relaxing music loud enough to cover the sounds of the fireworks.
You can also try taking them on a long walk during the day to tire them out. Letting them run out their excess energy at their favorite park or beach can help relax them for later on in the evening when the madness begins.
If you want to buy your pet something, you can take a look at ThunderShirts. They wrap around your pet and apply gentle pressure to make them feel more secure and help calm them down.
There’s also supplements or pheromones that work similarly to calm your pet. Some of the popular ones out there are Zylkene or Adaptil, and they can calm down a dog that isn’t responding to other efforts.
Unfortunately, we don’t want to think worst-case scenario, but as pet owners we have to. Ahead of the start of the fireworks take a quick, clear picture of your beloved dog. That way, incase they do go missing you have an up-to-date photo ready to go.
You can also consider using GPS on your pet if they’re a flight risk. Even the best precautions can fail, particularly when your dog is a bit of an escape artist. That is why it’s good to prepare for the worst, so maybe consider purchasing a collar with a with a GPS locator in it so they’re easy to find if they get out.
While license tags and microchips are both important to have for your dog, they do require that someone first notice the missing dog and get them to a vet or shelter in order for the information to be collected. With a GPS, you can skip the hassle and just go track down your dog straight away.
And there’s a bonus – many GPS trackers for dogs also double as fitness trackers, meaning you’ll also be able to monitor how much exercise they’re getting.
Whatever your plans are this Fourth of July, make sure you factor in the safety and wellbeing of your dog so that the two of you might enjoy the day. Happy 4th everybody!