Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm This 4th of July

The 4th of July can be a nerve-wracking holiday for any dog.

Dogs don’t understand fireworks, so when there’s a sudden explosion in the sky accompanied by an extremely loud noise — which is made even worse by a dog’s acute sense of hearing — it’s no wonder why many dogs get scared and freak out a little. A fear of fireworks in dogs is perfectly normal, but that doesn’t make Independence Day any easier for dog owners. The good news is that there are a lot of steps you can take to make the 4th of July easier on both you and your dog, including:

#1. Keep your dog inside.

If you know your dog gets anxious around fireworks — or you’re unsure of how they’ll react — it’s a much better option to keep them inside at home until the fireworks have subsided than it is to bring your dog to the center of the action. If your dog gets frightened while you are out and about, or even in the yard, they may escape and run away. Additionally, when dogs are scared, it can cause them to act unpredictably toward other animals or people.

#2. Stay home with your dog.

We know that everyone wants to be able to go out and enjoy the fireworks, but as a dog owner, sometimes, sacrifices are required. Locking your dog in your house by themselves while fireworks are going off can freak them out quite a bit, and it can help a lot if someone stays home to comfort them. Plus, if you’re home, you can ensure that your dog doesn’t try to escape. After all, just because your dog is in your home, it doesn’t mean they can’t escape. Some dogs have even been known to jump through windows in their attempt to escape from a loud, unknown noise.

#3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

During the daytime on the 4th of July, you’ll need to make sure that your dog gets lots and lots of exercise. If your dog is physically tired, it will help to reduce their anxiety while the fireworks are going off. Taking them on a long walk or playing a strenuous game of tug of war or fetch will help to keep your dog calm during the fireworks show.

#4. Section off a quiet, comfortable space for your dog at home.

Simply leaving your dog at home is often not good enough, especially if you can’t be there with them during the loudest part of the night. If you can create a quiet, comfortable space in your home for your dog during the fireworks (and far away from any windows), it will help to block out some of the noise that causes the anxiety and panic. Make sure your dog has plenty of toys and treats to keep them busy during the fireworks, and make sure there are no areas where they could escape if they do start to panic.

#5. Allow your dog to relieve themselves before the fireworks start.

Dogs shouldn’t be forced to hold it for longer than necessary, and you’ll want to ensure that your dog has a chance to do their business before the first firework goes off. If you take your dog outside in your yard or even on a leash during the fireworks to relieve themselves, they are at risk for escaping and fleeing the loud noise, which could lead to them getting lost or injured.

#6. Make sure the ID information is correct.

While it’s smart to take precautions to prevent your dog from running away to try to escape the loud noises from the fireworks, it’s also smart to have a plan B, just in case. If your dog does somehow get out during the fireworks show, they’ll have a much better chance of getting back home again if the information on their ID tag is up to date, so double check that the ID information is correct before the 4th gets here.

In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more things you can do to keep your dog safe and calm on the 4th of July. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about anxiety in dogs, or your dog is due for a veterinary visit, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment with our veterinarian.

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