4th of July is just around the corner! While we’re all making our grocery lists and getting the cooler filled up – it’s important to think about your furry family member. This holiday is unfortunately one of the busiest times for shelters across the country due to the amount of lost pets. Even the calmest of pups can find themselves startled by fireworks and become another lost dog statistic.
Follow along with our steps below to make this a safe holiday for your dog!
- Exercise. Get a long walk in before fireworks start. Check out our heat safety blog for ways to beat the heat.
- Limit potty breaks. Reduce and/or avoid your pup’s potty breaks while fireworks are going on. Ideally, wait to let your dog go out to eliminate until all fireworks are over. This will help minimize the exposure of fireworks while they are outside.
- Stay home if possible. If you have a new dog, this is especially important as you won’t know exactly how your dog will react to fireworks.
- Adjust your pup’s meal times. Feed your dog their breakfast as early as possible on days when fireworks are anticipated. We would recommend not feeding dinner to help with our next tip!
- Pair the sound of fireworks with something tasty! If you are able to stay home, try your best to pair treats/food to the loud sound of fireworks for your dog. Any time a firework goes off, say the word, “good” and offer your dog’s favorite treat/food. Pairing the sound of fireworks will hopefully give your dog a more positive experience, reducing their stress to the loud, abrupt sounds.We would recommend this step for all dogs – especially puppies!
- Initialize a 2 door rule. If you are unsure how your dog reacts to fireworks, it is very important to make sure that your pup is behind at least 2 closed doors in relation to your pup and the front door. This will significantly reduce the chances of your dog escaping out of the house if they get scared and try to run. Additionally, if allowing your dog to go outside in the backyard, make sure that your dog has a leash on at all times outside, even if your yard is fenced.
- Medication can be helpful for certain dogs. Discuss options with your vet if you feel your dog could benefit from additional help being relaxed during fireworks.
- Prepare for an emergency. Ensure your dog is microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag. Apple tags or GPS equipped collars can also be helpful!
By following the above steps we hope you feel prepared for the Fourth of July and enjoy a safe holiday weekend!