During the 4th of July, we all like to celebrate with BBQs, family and friend get-togethers, and fireworks. However, fireworks can really stress out our pets. Now, not all pets exhibit anxiety and stress during the 4th of July, but you may be surprised by how many pets actually do.
Besides being a momma to two boys, I am also a dog momma to two sweet dogs, Sophie and Rosco.
We have had Sophie since she was a puppy. She is a lab mix and has the nickname, Devil Dog. Now don’t get me wrong, Sophie is a sweet girl, but she is very protective of her family. Needless to say, Sophie loves only a few people outside of our immediate family and thinks everyone else is out to get her family. Don’t ask me why she’s that way. We never encouraged that behavior, but we love her anyway.
Rosco is our rescue dog. One day when my husband was working out in the orchard behind our house, he spotted a dog. The dog was very timid, scared, and skinny.
Feeling sorry for the poor dog, my husband came home and grabbed a couple of dog bones to give to the dog. After he gave out the bones, the dog disappeared into the orchard. Then, my husband drove home.
Long story short, the dog found his way to our house and wouldn’t leave our front porch for three days. I tried really hard to find a home for him, but no one would take him. As you may have already guessed, that dog nuzzled his way into my heart so we kept him.
Rosco is a pit-bull mix, but he is the sweetest dog I have ever met. He just wants to be loved all the time and doesn’t have a mean bone is his body.
Rosco’s nickname is Baby or should I say Momma’s Baby. He and Sophie are the best of friends and truly love each other.
When it comes to my dogs, Rosco could care less about fireworks. Sophie, on the other hand, is terrified of fireworks. I make sure that I do everything that I can to relief her fear, stress, and anxiety. Just as with any family member, her safety is important to me.
Here are a few tips that I use to keep my dog calm and safe during the 4th of July fireworks:
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Make Sure Your Dog can be Identified
Dogs will often run away when they are frightened or experiencing high levels of anxiety. You don’t want your dog to disappear or become lost without a way to be returned home.
If your dog isn’t micro-chipped, I would make sure that he has tags on his collar that contain owner contact information. So if your dog runs away, you have a better chance of being reunited.
Keep the Dog Inside
During the fireworks, you should have your dog in the house or garage if possible. As stated above, when dogs are frightened and experience anxiety they will often run off. If you have your dog inside, he is less likely to run away. Also the dog will feel more secure in a confined space.
If possible, place your dog in a room in your house that is secure and safe. If your dog is crate trained, you could also put the dog in the crate. You could place a blanket over the crate to make your dog feel more secure.
Turn on the TV or Play Music
Once your dog is inside, I recommend turning on the TV or playing music. The noise of the TV or music may help muffle the sounds of the fireworks.
If you can get your dog to tune in to the sounds in the house, he may less likely become stressed by the sounds outside.
Use a Thunder Shirt
Some owners have success with calming their dogs by using a Thunder Shirt or Anxiety Wrap. These shirts or wraps apply gentle, constant pressure to calm anxiety, fear, and over excitement.
These shirts and wraps have been recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers. They are a great drug free option for your dog.
Use a Sedative
Personally, I don’t use any sedatives on my dog. I am able to calm my dog by using the previously mentioned tips. However, some dogs will continue to exhibit stress and anxiety even after trying all the tips above.
If your dog needs more help calming down, you may need to visit a veterinarian. They can offer sedatives to help your dog through this stressful time.
So this 4th of July, please don’t forget about your pets. Just like us, they can experience stress and anxiety. By following these tips, we can help keep our pets calm and safe during the firework celebrations.