Just two days until the 4th of July! We can practically smell the burgers and sweet corn! As much fun as it is for us humans to celebrate our independence, it can be a particularly stressful event for your dogs. The sounds of celebrating Americans and raucous fireworks are quite scary from the viewpoint of our furry friends. Many dogs react on their fear, running away, barking, urinating, or hiding. Scratched floors and messy carpets are just a few side effects of a pet's anxieties, but the more important thing to focus on this Thursday is making sure your pet feels as comfortable as possible in a stressful situation. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for the big day:
1. Give your pet access to their safe place.
If your pet has a spot that they feel comfortable and safe in you should make sure they have easy access to it.
2. As your vet about medicine.
Things like Benadryl and CBD oil can help our furry friends in high-stress situations, so it's worth seeing what your vet has to say about some of these options for your pet.
3. Keep doors secure and protected.
4th of July fireworks are famous for scaring pets right out of the house. Sound-reactive dogs and cats panic when they hear fireworks and may race out into the street if the opportunity presents itself to them. Make sure your fences, doors and baby gates are secure to minimize the chance of your pet getting loose.
4. Try a thunder jacket.
If medication doesn't sound like a great option for your pet, try a thunder jacket. These harness-like contraptions work similarly to weighted blankets for humans. They put a gentle and constant pressure on the dog so he or she feels more secure, relieving some anxiety. It's like wearing a hug!
5. Tire them out.
Your pet can't have a meltdown if they're sleeping! Take your dog to the park, to daycare, or just play extra hard during the days leading up to the 4th. They'll have a ton of extra fun bonding with you and will be ready to rest when the celebration begins.
6. Leave them home.
It's easy to feel like you're leaving your pet out if you don't take them with you to your 4th of July party, but they will be better off for it. Let them stay home where they are familiar with their surroundings and therefore the most comfortable.
7. Have a distraction-worthy treat.
If you have a positive distraction (a really good treat, favorite toy, or fun game) that outweighs the terror of fireworks, your dog is going to be less likely to pay attention to their fear. As soon as your dog starts to show signs of anxiety bring out the positive treat or activity to draw them out of that state.
8. Make a special spot for your pet.
Some dogs feel the need to burrow into close quarters when they're scared, so why not make that an option for them? Put a blanket over their kennel, clear a spot under your bed, or make a pillow fort of sorts to give them a safe space to hide.
9. Don't coddle them.
Dogs don't understand our language or all of our intentions, so babying them in an effort to comfort them really doesn't make sense to your pet. In fact, it can confuse them and make the situation worse. It is best to let your dog work through their fear on their own and just be a strong, calm presence if you're around.
10. Play music or leave the TV on.
Lastly, you can always try to drown out some of the noise by playing music or turning on the TV. This probably won't completely fix the problem, but it will likely help.
Have a very happy and safe Independence day!