Dogs and Fireworks on July 4th
Most dogs find the festivities associated with July 4th stressful, along with you as an owner. Statistically, more dogs run away on July 4th than any other day. It is only natural for dogs to be scared of loud noises, because dogs experience the world only through their three senses (nose, eyes, ears). This can explain why July 4th is so overwhelming for a dog.
To ensure your dog stays happy and stress-free, here are some tips to help you and your pet enjoy the holiday.
1. Be prepared. If you can, have your dog in a place where loud fireworks will not be displayed. If this happens to be an unfamiliar place for you dog, take him or her there a few times before the holiday so that there is familiarity with the environment.
2. Be accomodating. If you cannot take your dog to a place free of fireworks, have a travel kennel at home that he or she feels safe in. If you are not going to be home during the fireworks, have a friend or sitter there to keep your dog company.
3. Acclimate your pet. Make sure your dog is used to the sound of fireworks in advance. It is a fairly simple processs, but can take a few months for your dog to become comfortable. Play the sound of fireworks for your dog at an increasingly louder volume over time. Play the sound before eating, before a walk, or before play time. This will condition your dog to associate the sound with something good.
4. Sedation if necessary. Only if you have run out of other options, use medication or a thunder shirt. This is important to be introduced at the right time. Your dog must be at a calm state, which means using medication or a thundershirt before the fireworks have started. If your dog is anxious and showing signs of stress, these methods will not work.
5. Communicate with your dog. Send calming messages to your dog. It is a known fact that dogs communicate with energy and will look to their owner on how they should behave. It is best to expend all of your dog's energy before the fireworks begin by taking him or her on a long walk. You are being a loving and caring owner by not exposing your dog to fireworks that will trigger high anxiety.
If you are looking on skipping out on the holiday festivities and want to adopt a new pet, PAWS Chicago will be hosting an adoption event at Petco in Glenview from 11-3pm on July 4th. Dogs, puppies, and kittens will be available!