While the Fourth of July is an exciting holiday for every proud American, fireworks may be frightening to some of our four-legged friends.
The Fourth of July is the day we take to the outdoors and celebrate the birth of American independence by participating in displays of bursting color and booming sound. This display is always a sight to see. However, for pets who don’t understand what is going on, this can be an extremely frightening and stressful time for them.
According to the “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan, “more pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety. It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.” Furthermore, when dogs are indoors and cannot escape the sounds of fireworks by running away, they may feel trapped and become overly stressed.
So how can you ensure that your furry companion is safe and comfortable during the holiday festivities? Luckily, Purina, the popular pet brand, has provided a helpful list of steps that you can take to keep the anxiety at bay:
Keep Your Dog Inside: Even if your dog spends most of their time outdoors, bring them inside during fireworks displays. This will prevent them from running away when they feel scared, which can put them in danger.
Create a Safe Space: If your dog is crate-trained, make their crate available, as that’s probably already a safe space for them. If not, put him in a bathroom or other small room with music or white noise to help drown out the boom of fireworks. Bringing their bed, blankets, and toys into the room might also make them feel more comfortable.
Try a Calming Wrap: Calming wraps, vests, and shirts apply light, constant pressure. Many dogs find this soothing and calming.
Desensitize: Try working with your dog well in advance of firework-heavy holidays to desensitize them to fireworks and other loud noises. You can start this process by playing fireworks sounds on a low level while playing with your dog and giving them treats. Over time, slowly increase the sound of the fireworks during these play sessions.
Make Sure They’re Microchipped and Wearing a Collar: It’s critical to ensure people can identify your dog and contact you if they run off in fear. Getting them microchipped well in advance of such holidays is always a good decision. It’s also a good idea to make sure they’re wearing their collar and their ID tags are up to date.
We love our canine friends. Let’s take the extra steps to keep them safe and happy so we can enjoy the holiday with some peace of mind!
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