Oh, the joys of summer! For most of us, we look forward to celebrating the 4th of July with friends and family. For a lot of us, that usually involves fireworks. While enjoyable for people and pyromaniacs, the loud booms and bright flashes of the fireworks may not be enjoyable to our pets. A dogs hearing is ten times more sensitive than that of a human, so one can only imagine how loud and terrifying it can be to your pet. To help with reducing the fear and anxiety of your pet to the fireworks celebrations, I recommend the tips.
Hartz.com has many methods on calming your dog. One of which is creating a safe area for your dog to stay in for the festivities. Hartz says to remove all objects that could cause harm, make sure his ‘hiding-spot’ is accessible, and close the blinds to stop the bright light from entering his safe haven. Other methods include turning on a TV or radio might help muffle the loud booms, hence hiding the fireworks from your dog. You also should put a water bowl in his room. Dogs are more likely to drink when they are worried. If your dog wines and paces around, let them. They have found their safe spot. Try not to disturb them and don’t punish them for being afraid and having bad behavior.
A lot of people want to take their pets with them to a fireworks show. Do yourself and your pets a favor: LEAVE THEM AT HOME! They may run off in fear. In the rare case that you cannot leave your dog, be sure to have them microchipped and your information up to date if your dog runs off.
You can do some things before July 4 to reduce the amount of stress your dog endures. Add some cooked potato or white rice to their meal that evening. Similar to people, the carbohydrates will make them feel fuller and sleepier, allowing them to be less anxious. You can take them on a longer than usual walk or play a tiring game with them making the sleepier in the night. You can give your dog a massage to relax them, you can cuddle with them and provide distractions whilst the fireworks are shooting off. If necessary, you may want to talk to your veterinarian and have them prescribe sedatives to calm the dog. A ThunderShirt may be a good solution as it has a very high success rate at calming anxious dogs.
Fireworks and dogs almost never mix; if you use these methods, your dog may be calmer and more peaceful during the July 4 festivities that are yet to come. If you have further questions, or your pet has special needs, don’t hesitate to contact our office.