The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and although it can be such a joyous day for many of us, it can be extremely stressful on our pets. From heat exhaustion during the day to loud noises at night with fireworks, you need to be prepared to make your pet most comfortable during the holiday.
Many animals across the country suffer from “phonophobia” or the fear of loud noises, including our favorite pets. This fear becomes especially worrisome for pet owners as Fourth of July approaches because of Firework displays showcased in many small towns across the country.
Steps to Prepare Before the Show:
Talk With Your Veterinarian.
There are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can be recommended by your veterinarian that is often used on an as-needed basis. Therefore, owners can medicate their dog in advance of a summer thunderstorm or firework display nearby for the holiday season.
Secure Your Pets Space.
Before the firework show check all areas of the area, you will be keeping your dog. Whether this is a crate, on a leash, or your yard, it is essential to make sure all spaces are in proper condition.
- Crate: If placing your dog in a pet taxi or their crate, make sure the lock is secure, and they have plenty of space for comfort.
- Leash: If walking around the neighborhood, make sure your pup’s collar or harness is tight enough that they can’t slip out.
- Yard: If releasing their dog into the back yard, make sure the fence is secure, and your dog can’t bury under it or slip through an open gate.
Please note that an electric fence may not hold a scared/stressed dog.
Keep Your Dog Comfortable.
- If you are celebrating with friends or family, suggest having the barbeque and yard games earlier in the day so that you can be home before dark & the fireworks begin. Having familiar people around will help to calm your dog.
- Leave your dog at home for the day (and evening)! This will reduce the stress of meeting new people and being around crowds, eliminate the possibility of them escaping in fear from fireworks that go off early, and prevent them from suffering from heat-related illnesses.
- Many dogs retreat to a comfortable area; they feel safe. This could be a dog crate, hiding under a table, or under a bed. Make sure they have access to these areas – owners can even add blankets for increased comfort. Even the nicest of family pets can snap at owners trying to drag them out of a space they feel comfortable in. Instead, you can try to coax them out with high-value treats.
Schedule Your Evening Routine Earlier.
Nervous dogs are unlikely to want to eat supper during a fireworks show, and taking them outside to go to the bathroom can lead to them escaping. Therefore, try to feed your dog and take them out BEFORE the fireworks start! Consult with your veterinarian if your dog typically takes any medications at a specific time that may be impacted by a fireworks display.