July 4th is a time of celebration for many people in our country but not for dogs. According to Pet Finder, more dogs get lost on July 4th each year than any other date. That’s a terrifying statistic for dogs & people alike! These are a few steps you can take to make the holiday less stressful for everyone:
- Give your dog plenty of exercise earlier in the day. That will help him/her to be tired and safely indoors when the fireworks begin.
- Make sure your dog is in a place where he/she feels safe: a crate, a bedroom with a closed door, a closet with their favorite blanket or bed. You could cover the crate with a blanket and close windows & curtains to help muffle the sound of fireworks
- Keep your dog occupied at fireworks time with a favorite tasty treat (bone or toy stuffed with peanut butter, antler, etc)
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag on it. At minimum, the tag should have the dog’s name & your phone number on it. If your dog is microchipped, make sure your contact info is up to date with the company, in the event he gets loose & takes off. Have a current photo of your dog, making sure it shows any unusual markings or characteristics.
- Keep the TV on or play music to provide distracting but familiar sounds.
- Use a Thundershirt. It works SO well to provide a feeling of calm for many dogs. I have witnessed one of our own dogs sleep through thunderstorms & fireworks once she began wearing one. Before using the Thundershirt, poor Kennedy paced, panted, trembled, and hid in our closet.
- Give your dog a natural, herbal supplement to calm his/her stress and anxiety without the side effects of chemical medications. These are usually given a few hours before the loud noises are scheduled to begin. They can be purchased at better pet stores as treats or herbal drops. At Lucky Dogs, we carry Earth Animal’s Calm Down herbal drops and Herbsmith’s July Third calming chews.