Ahhh. Backyard barbecues, sunshine, sparklers, and fireworks. 4th of July is coming up fast, and if you’re a pet parent like me you know what that means. The weeks leading up to and after the 4th of July are likely your dog’s least favorite time of year.
Here are five tips to help your four-legged family member (or members 😉) get through America’s 241st birthday with as little anxiety as possible!
1.Leave your dog (or dogs) at home
As fun as it may sound to bring your dog to the 4th of July festivities you’re heading to, it’s safer to leave him or her at home. Your dog may love going out on that pontoon boat, but wait to take him/her at a different time. The Humane Society reports that over the 4th of July holiday there is an increase in lost animals that show up at shelters. Keep your dog secured in a safe spot (a crate or a confined area of your house) at home so they’re not included in this statistic this year.
2. Get a snuggle puppy or ThunderShirt to help ease anxiety
If you can’t stay at home with your pup and you have a younger dog, a snuggle puppy is the way to go. The snuggle puppy comes with a real-feel heartbeat and heat pack that mimics another dog, so your dog doesn’t feel alone and has a “friend” with them. It’s an all-natural remedy that helps calm your pet without medication or restraint.
If you have an older dog, I would suggest getting him or her the ThunderShirt. The ThunderShirt's design applies a gentle, constant pressure to your dog’s torso, which helps reduce anxiety during fireworks.
3.Turn on the TV to muffle noise and close curtains and blinds
Turn on the TV or radio before you leave to help drown out the sound of fireworks while you are gone. Closing the curtains and blinds in your house can also help ease your dog’s anxiety so they don’t see all of the flashes from any nearby fireworks.
4.Download the Presence app
This app is hands down my favorite app I’ve ever downloaded. It’s a lifesaver, and it’s completely free! Download the app on two devices-one on your cell phone and then one on an iPad or old cell phone you don’t use anymore. When I leave my house, but want to keep an eye on Stanley, my Bernese Mountain Dog, I set my iPad up at home with the Presence app loaded on it. I can then access the iPads camera via my cell phone from any location and keep an eye on him while I’m out and about. You can do the same while you are at your 4th of July parties but want to check in to make sure your dog is doing ok. The app has some cool features, like the ability to call and talk to your dog, record video, and take photos. It’s been a huge lifesaver for me, especially after my dog had to have a couple of surgeries and I was nervous to leave him alone.
5.Make sure your dog is microchipped and wears an identification tag
This goes without saying, but in the worst-case scenario that your dog does manage to get away from the house and take off running, a microchip and identification tag will ensure your pup is returned once he or she is found.
These tips are my go-to tips when July 4th rolls around each year. I know there are many, many more out there and each individual dog responds differently. What works for you when it comes to easing your dog’s anxiety during fireworks? Or perhaps you are one of the lucky pet parents whose dog is not scared of fireworks 😊 Tell us in the comments below!