The 4th of July is such a great time to celebrate with friends, family, and loved ones. We truly do have a lot to be grateful for, and many reasons why Independence Day should be special to each of us.
We hope that amidst all of the celebrations you’ll also keep your dog’s best interest in mind. The 4th of July is the second highest day of the year for lost and injured pets. This is primarily due to stress caused by fireworks. So, here’s a few tips to help keep your dog safe this year, and make sure that you all have an enjoyable holiday.
- Don’t attend festivities unless you’re positive your dog can handle it. If you haven’t already spent some time desensitizing your dog to loud noises, and lots of commotion, this could be a complete disaster. Last year I attended the Fort Worth fireworks celebration at Panther pavilion. When the fireworks began I saw several dogs have minor melt downs, but worse than that I saw a few dogs that were completely freaking out. One of them even broke free of his leash. Luckily he got snagged when he went running underneath a parked truck, and his owners were able to catch him. These one time events might seem like they’re not a big deal, but they can easily lead to bigger problems with your dog including some major phobias to ANY loud noises, and not just fireworks. If you’re unsure how your dog might react to fireworks it’s definitely best to keep them away. This is not the right scenario to test them.
- Do not let your dog outside after sun down. Even if you aren’t close to a major fireworks display, I’ve heard countless stories of people’s neighbors sending their dogs into a frenzy by lighting off a few fireworks in the neighborhood. I always try to adjust my dogs’ schedule so that their last potty break of the night is going to be about 15 minutes before sun down. Yes this means I’m going to have to wake up a little earlier to let them out in the morning, but it’s definitely worth it.
- Take your dog for a long walk, to the beach, or something like that a couple of hours before sunset. This will help make sure that they’re extra tired. A tired dog tends to be a lot less reactive to outside stimuli.
- Create an extra safe environment inside your home for your dog. Even if your dog is not typically crated in your home, it’s a good idea to crate them if you’re going to be away during the evenings hours on the 4th. I also like to have a radio playing to help drown out any outside noise. The following pictures are an example of what happened last 4th of July when a dog got overly anxious while the owners were away. Warning: The pictures are graphic, the dog did survive but was seriously injured when he decided break out through a glass door because he was so panicked by the sounds of the fireworks. (Photo Credit: Heather Terpening)
5. Last but not least, is that you can start preparing your dog for next year. A properly desensitized dog can enjoy all kinds of fun on Independence Day. We’ve created a video about some of the steps we like to take to help dogs deal with loud noises. You can check it out here: Noise Desensitizing
Thanks so much for reading y’all! Hope you have a safe and Happy 4th of July.