Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays to celebrate our country, and also one of the loudest! Friends and family will invite you over for barbecues, brews and a fireworks display and they want you to bring your furry best friend but you should think twice before bringing them along. According to veterinary research, July 4th is one of the most well known holidays that dogs run away due to the loud noises and fireworks.
If you are invited to go out, it is best to leave your pet at home. Your pet feels the safest when it is at home. Make a comfortable spot with blankets and toys if your pet stays in a room or on a bed. With our dogs, they are crated so on July 4th I make sure they have a blanket in the pen to make them feel comfortable and less afraid. Our blankets are comforting to Rudy and Harley because they smell like us, and a familiar scent makes them feel calmer. You can also spray a little bit of non-toxic lavender or a drop of essential oil, again non-toxic so that it does not make your pooch sick. Lavender is a soothing scent and promotes calmness.
If you decide to take your pet with you, it’s important to follow some pet friendly tips to make the holiday a safe one!
- Make sure they have a collar with proper identification on it such as the dogs name, the owners phone number, and any other important information such as a city and state location. Have a lead or a longer leash that’s easily accessible to clip on your pet for when the fireworks start so that they will be in close distance of you.
- Use dog-specific insect repellent and sunscreen. Some ingredients in human sunscreen and repellents are toxic to dogs. You can easily find these products on Amazon prime to have it here by the holiday or check out your local pet shop as well.
- Provide lots of fresh water especially if you will be outside all day with your pup. Pack a “go bag” or as I call it, a “pup pack” with the essentials such as food, treats, toys, collapsible bowls, poop bags, and bottled water. To reduce anxiety, try treats such as bully sticks or long lasting chews so that they focus on the snack and not so much on the noise.
- Don’t force your dog to enjoy the fireworks if they do not like it. Let’s face it, we’ve all been forced to do things in life that we didn’t want to do (eating our vegetables, doing chores) and sometimes we would rebel against our tasks. Understand the way your pet feels, look at their behaviors and body language and know when to bring your pooch inside.
- Don’t be afraid to consult your vet. Some dogs have much more anxiety and a blanket or soothing toy may not work, so you will need to consult your veterinarian. The vet will be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help with your pet’s anxiety.
- Most importantly, enjoy your holiday! Being able to spend time with your pet on a holiday is a special time. I hope you have a great holiday weekend and July 4th!
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