It’s that time of year again, the Fourth of July, and that means fireworks. Fireworks can be quite scary for dogs. Believe it or not, the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve are the two days when pets go missing the most, largely due to them being frightened by fireworks and running away. Some dogs are not bothered by the sounds, but if your pooch is here are some suggestions that can help.
Play it safe, and never take your dogs to fireworks displays or leave them outside alone during fireworks. Keep them indoors and if possible, stay home with them. Keep all your windows, curtains, and blinds closed. There have been stories of frightened dogs that have attempted to jump through windows, even on upper floors.
To help your dog relax turn on a radio that’s tuned to a classical music station, the TV, window air conditioner, fan, or dehumidifier to help drown out the sound of the fireworks. Distract your dog by playing games and be generous with treats for ignoring explosions (in addition to being a reward, food has a beneficial effect on their brain chemistry). A Thundershirt, sold at most local pet supply stores, provides gentle, consistent pressure that can help you dog feel more secure and relaxed during fireworks displays and thunderstorms.
Supplements such as Melatonin and Rescue Remedy can work wonders to calm dogs down as does the use of the lavender essential oil. (for more information on Rescue Remedy and Lavender Essential Oil visit my previous posts about their use and benefits) There are also many other natural calming supplements for dogs, including herbs, and homeopathics, available at your local pet supply store. I have had a couple of friends recommend “Calm Chews” (Pet NC Calming Aid Soft Chews), which they say they work wonders for their small dogs who usually get very frightened during fireworks. I have yet to try it on my own dogs, but it is definitely something I will further look in to! 🙂
One VERY important thing is to make sure that your pets are ALWAYS wearing collars or harnesses with an up-to-date ID tag and a microchip is also a good idea just in case (can be provided by your regular vet).
It is up to us to keep our furry companions calm and comfortable. Follow the above suggestions to make your dog feel safe and secure this 4th of July, and share these tips with your friends and family!
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