The 4th of July is one of the best holidays of the year, and definitely an official kick-off to the dog days of summer. However, any holiday or day that includes fireworks is extremely scary for a lot of pups. More animals are lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. Grounds & Hounds has teamed up with Los Angeles based shelter Wags and Walks to share some important tips for keeping your dogs safe, happy and home this 4th.
1. Keep your dog inside
This is a biggie. Dog’s hearing is up to 4 times more sensitive than that of humans, and they can hear at a much higher frequency. The noise and commotion of fireworks often leads to panic, running away, and ultimately losing sight of home. It’s essential to either keep your pup indoors completely once fireworks are underway, or to make sure that your home or vicinity is completely secured.
We recommend exercising pup well before the evening fireworks kickoff, and tuckering them out. Go for a long walk, a special hike, or many rounds of fetch. Whatever you do, make sure your dog is ready to be at home and inside once sundown approaches.
If by chance your pup can’t be indoors, take extra precautions to check that your property or the area is secure and escape proof. Consider temporary measures like additional higher fencing, as anxious dogs can sometimes make superhuman leaps. There’s no such thing as being too prepared!
2. Create a safe zone
If you’re planning for your pup to be inside during the fireworks, create a chill zone for them to hunker down. Turn an interior closet into a dog den or a bedroom (with secured windows) into a fortress. Keep the room cool and dark, and make it fun. Fill the room with your pup’s favorite toys, and either white noise or music to drown out the outside hoopla.
Importantly, be present. In times of distress or in unusual circumstances, your dog will find great comfort in your familiar face.
3. Tag your pet
This is essential. Make absolutely sure your dog is wearing a secure collar with up to date contact information. Choose a sturdy collar that isn’t ratty or worn. Make sure it’s securely fastened and somewhat snug; you should be able to fit two fingers underneath.
And, during your next check-up, have your vet check your pet’s microchip to ensure it’s still functioning. If you’re not sure of the microchip’s status or if your dog isn’t yet chipped, schedule an appointment before the 4th. Once the chip has been checked or after a visit to the vet for a chip, check the status of the chip online at http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/. There’s also new and exciting technology such as GPS trackers that help you track where pup is and how they are doing.
4. For animals with extreme anxiety
Some of our pets are more fireworks adverse than others, and that’s okay! With a great plan, we’ll all make it through the holiday comfortably and together. Consider utilizing an anxiety vest, or hiring a trainer to help guide you and pup through some helpful exercises to prepare for the holiday.
We always recommend checking in with your trusted vet before the 4th of July to hear their best practices and advice. You and your vet know pup best, and your best friend will thank you.