Celebrating Independence Day with Your Furry Friend

The 4th of July is a time for celebration, filled with fireworks, barbecues, and festivities. However, for our canine friends, it can be a stressful and potentially dangerous time. The loud noises, unfamiliar smells, and bustling activities can cause anxiety and pose risks to dogs. Here are some essential tips for keeping your dog safe and comfortable during the Independence Day celebrations.

Provide a Calm and Soothing Safe Haven

Fireworks and loud noises can be terrifying for dogs. Create a safe, quiet space where your dog can retreat. This could be a room in your home, a crate covered with a blanket, or a cozy corner with their favorite toys and bedding. Make sure this space is away from windows and external noise as much as possible.

It’s best to keep your dog indoors during fireworks displays. The sudden loud noises can cause panic, leading to unexpected behaviors like running away or injuring themselves. Close windows and draw curtains to minimize the sound and visual stimulation from fireworks.

Consider Using Calming Aids

There are various products available that can help soothe anxious dogs, such as:

  • Thundershirts or Anxiety Wraps: These apply gentle pressure to help calm the dog.

  • Calming Treats or Supplements: Look for natural ingredients like chamomile, valerian root, and melatonin.

  • Pheromone Diffusers: These emit a calming scent that can help reduce anxiety.

Consult your veterinarian before using any new products to ensure they are safe for your pet.

Safety and Identification

If your dog spends time outside, make sure that your yard is secure. Check for any potential escape routes and supervise them closely. Fireworks can startle dogs, causing them to bolt and possibly injure themselves. Ensure your dog’s ID tags and microchip information are up to date. In case your dog does escape, this will significantly increase the chances of a safe return. Include your current phone number and address on the tags.

Celebrating with your Dog

Take your dog for a long walk or engage in vigorous playtime earlier in the day. This can help tire them out and reduce anxiety during the evening’s festivities. A tired dog is generally a calmer dog. If they are with you at a celebration, avoid giving them party food. Barbecue and party foods can be harmful to dogs. Keep them away from food that could be toxic, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, and anything containing alcohol. Stick to their regular diet to avoid any digestive issues.

Also keep in mind that dogs can pick up on their owner’s emotions. If you stay calm and composed, your dog is more likely to feel the same way. Engage in calm activities and speak to them in a soothing voice. If your dog has severe anxiety, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer. They can provide guidance and potentially prescribe medication to help manage extreme fear and stress.

Plan Ahead for Fireworks Displays

If possible, plan to stay home with your dog during fireworks displays. If you must go out, consider hiring a pet sitter or asking a trusted friend to stay with your dog. Leaving them alone during such a stressful time can increase anxiety and the risk of destructive behavior. At Beds-N-Biscuits, our General Manager lives on site and is there to help calm dogs who are boarding with us and respond to any concerns. We play music for our guests and will adjust the volume accordingly in response to nearby celebrations or stimuli. It’s our goal to make sure your friend has a great time while you are away enjoying your holiday as well!

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that both you and your dog have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. With a little planning and attention, you can minimize their stress and keep them safe during the holiday celebrations. Enjoy the festivities, and keep your furry friend’s tail wagging with peace and comfort!