It happens the same time every year, and I’m taking the risk of sounding like a broken record, but I must warn pet owners that they should take extra steps to protect their pets during this holiday.
Because July 4th is on Tuesday this year we will need to take precautions to ensure our pets are not traumatized or escape during the week of July 1–July 8th, because many people will be celebrating this holiday the entire week!
What Must You Do to Protect your Dog?
Make sure your dog is wearing pet ID at all times. Make sure the tag is legible and that the contact phone numbers are current.
If you have social plans, take your dogs’ needs into account. Leaving your dog at home is probably the safest as it is the most familiar environment for your pet, however, make sure all the windows and doors are securely fastened and turn up the television, or stereo, to try and mask the sound of the fireworks. If your dog is uncomfortable staying at home on their own or has exhibited a serious fear of fireworks in the past, and you won’t be home you should consider boarding her at a reputable kennel or veterinary clinic, preferably with 24 hour surveillance.
If your dog is traumatized by fireworks, you may want to stay at home with him so that he feels more comfortable. Again, ensure that all of the windows and doors are secure, and turn up the TV or stereo as loud as you can bear. There are two lines of thought on what to do with a traumatized dog during fireworks:
o Some experts feel that “coddling” a dog may reinforce the his fearful behavior.
o However, most experts agree that it is a better idea to comfort a fearful dog who is shaking or panting with fear. Inviting him to sit beside you on the coach, then cover you both with a heavy blanket (it has a similar effect as the Thunder shirt https://www.rover.com/blog/thundershirts-for-dogs-do-they-really-work ). If you get too warm put on a fan and feed your dog tiny pieces of their favorite K9 CRACK Love Snack.
If you have used CBD oil and your dog is familiar with its effects, you could use this. On how to use CBD correctly please check out our blog: https://www.k9crack.com/post/cbd-for-dogs
If your dog has extreme anxiety during fireworks, you may want to sedate your dog. However, you should discuss this with your veterinarian who will then give you a prescription for the appropriate behavior modifying medication. Please check on how these medications affect your dog before July 4th, as some sedate the dog without reducing their anxiety, therefore he may still be terrified but unable to move!
If you have a young dog, or gotten your dog from a Pet Adoption Center, he either may not have been exposed to fireworks yet, or you don’t know what his reaction will be until the day arrives. Make sure you have plenty of your dog favorite K9 CRACK Love Snacks and other healthy treats such as cubed cheese and carrots. Any time you hear fireworks during the days leading up to July 4th use an excited marker like “Yay!” and give your dog a high value dog treat. This is a great way to build positive reinforcement and happy association with the crackle and pop of fireworks.
And finally, just because your dog is older and has never been frightened by fireworks, do not presume he will continue to be reticent about the booms and bangs of human celebration this time. Your dog’s hearing changes as he ages, and he may register sounds differently. On a personal note, as Jazzy got became a senior dog she became less tolerant of loud noises and fast movements around her and her anxiety levels would hit a high; a trip to the coast for the day and a very long, slow drive home ensured we would miss most of the fireworks when we got home and we were all able to sleep better.
I hope this helps, Happy 4th July and stay safe.