Ten Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household:
1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.
2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help.
3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas.
4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.
5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)
6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.
7. Encourage your dog to play, and play with him/her, but don’t allow them to collapse into your arms at the first bang or whistle. In point of fact, however, many dogs want to do just that, as their fear overcomes their play drive.
8. Sound Therapy: Play mellow music to calm your canine companion. It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already peaceful and relaxed. He will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to be effective as it has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.
9. If you have dogs that are not exhibiting fear, play with them. This will often distract the fearful dog as he/she is always vying for your attention.
10. Get away from the fireworks. Take your dog to a quiet place, perhaps in the country, and stay with a sympathetic friend or family member.