A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
No matter what day of the week the fourth of July falls on, most people look forward to it. It’s a holiday off of work for most folks and the biggest responsibility of the day is to figure out what to grill, who to invite over, and where to go watch the fireworks. For dog owners, it’s important to also take measures to keep your dog safe and comforted from all the loud popping, banging, and fizzle sounds. An average human’s hearing ranges from 20-20,000 hertz, while a dog’s average hearing hearing range is 40-60,000 hertz. This can make for an incredibly uncomfortable and scary night for our canine loved ones, so here’s a few tips to keep them safe and comforted.
1. Take Measures to Keep Them Calm
Remember that your dogs don’t have day planners and calendars. The scary sounds associated with the day will come as a complete surprise to them, and you can prepare them by using calming aromatherapy, getting plenty of exercise, and even using natural calming supplements leading up to the day.
2. Make Sure They’re Wearing ID Collars
Whether your dogs are mostly indoor or outdoor, make sure that your dogs are wearing their ID collars at all times for a week leading up to the holiday. For holidays that fall mid-week, like this year, be expecting all the eager families with fireworks to begin experimenting over the weekend before the actual holiday.
3. Plan Ahead – Ease Resentment and Fear
Make your holiday plans in advance. If you know that you will be leaving your dog at home while you go watch fireworks, then you can spend extra one-on-one time that day to ease resentment and fear. You can also make sure that they have “pottied” just before dark and won’t have to be let out in the dark when people are setting off fireworks.
4. Leave (and Keep) Them Safe at Home
The safest and best place for your dogs is inside of their own house. DON’T take them to a big fireworks display, thinking it would be a fun family event. Not only will the fireworks noises be extra loud at these events, but people all around you may be setting off personal fireworks. Your dog won’t be having fun, and as a result, you won’t either. When leaving your dog at home, make sure to secure them indoors in a safe place. Keep all lights on, blinds and curtains closed, and turn on a TV or radio to help drown out the fireworks noises. Remember, in a time of fear, they may do things that harm themselves or your household items, so keep them in the safest spot you have.
5. Stay-at-Home Activities & Distractions
If you choose to stay home with your dog, plan a fun indoor activity for dusk. You can get plenty of exercise and outdoor time during the day, and plan to be in the house at night. Close all the curtains and blinds and keep all the lights on. Have a dance party or make it a movie night. You will have the advantage of being able to monitor your dog’s anxiety levels and be able to respond accordingly.
Every year, most of us look forward to a day off of work grilling with friends and family on July 4th. But remember, your dogs are part of the family, and this day is no holiday for them. Take the time keep them safe and comfortable so they don’t suffer the panic and stress that, similarly, you might feel on April 15th.