The loud boom of fireworks is frightening to most dogs. Because of this, more dogs go missing on the night of the 4th of July than any other time of year. In order to keep your dog safe and to lessen the stress of the night there are a few things you can do.
- Try to get your dog exercise during the day to lower their energy level and maybe even tire them out.
- If you won’t be home, put your dog in a crate or room and be sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Be sure it’s a cooler place where they won’t overheat.
- Even if you will be home, you can set up a safe place like the above that the dog can go to if they get scared.
- Put your dogs favorite bed or blankets in there for them.
- Be sure they have access to water in their safe place, since they may expend a lot of nervous energy and be doing a lot of panting.
- Put on music or the television to make noise to compete with the sound of the fireworks so they’re not as startling. If nothing else, you can put a fan in the room to make some noise.
- Close the curtains in your house to keep the light flashes out.
- Have toys, stuffed treats and games available to occupy them.
- Put calming scents in the air like lavender.
- There are over the counter calming supplements, sprays, and collars you can buy at the pet store or prescriptions available from your vet.
- Your dog may benefit from a calming body wrap like a Thundershirt or an online search will show you ways of making your own.
- Be sure they have up to date tags on their collar and that your contact information is current with the microchip company, just in case.
If you can stay home with your pets that’s ideal for them. If they’re acting scared, the best thing you can do is speak to them in a calm, confident, normal tone. Long slow petting strokes are good. Distractions are great too with toys or games.
Fireworks will never be a favorite of dogs, but with planning and care you can keep them safe and calm.