How to Keep Your Dog Happy on the 4th of July
Published June 8, 2022
For people without dogs, the 4th of July is generally pretty amazing. It’s just a day off work to party and eat with their friends – fireworks optional. For dog parents, however, you know that this holiday can cause intense stress and fear in your pup, even if you don’t attend any events.
What’s so hard about having a happy 4th of July, dog parents? You guessed it: fireworks.
Fireworks: Your Dog’s Main Nemesis on July 4
Fireworks are a notorious problem for dogs on Independence Day. Unfortunately, since their sharp, loud, and sporadic popping rarely happens in normal life, it is difficult to desensitize your dog to this phobia.
If your pup is afraid of fireworks, you’re probably already well aware. You may even be at your wit’s end. However, there are several strategies you can try to help soothe your four-legged friend when they’re desperately afraid – and have a happy 4th of July, dog-style!
Create a Safe Cave at Home For Your Pup
When your dog feels frightened, they want to run to their den. Because of this, it can be helpful for you to make the most contained room in your house into a safe space for them. This might be a bathroom or perhaps even a large closet in a bedroom. Some dogs like to hide under the bed, too.
Let them follow their instincts – as long as they’re safe. If you need to coax them out of a risky spot, do so with treats and gentleness.
When creating their safe space, make the environment as den-like as possible. Keep it dark and cool. Cover windows and doors to muffle outside noise. Some people also have good results playing the following sounds:
- Classical or reggae music
- White noise – you can buy a white noise machine or play it from a computer
- TV programs that seem neutral/pleasant to your dog
Some dogs respond well to veterinarian-recommended anti-anxiety measures, such as a calming supplement.
Visit your veterinarian to get their advice on the best option for your furry friend. They may want to conduct a test run prior to July 4th.
Seek Out Dog-Friendly 4th of July Events
Want to include socializing in your pup’s happy 4th of July? Dog-friendly gatherings are becoming more and more prevalent, and you’re likely to find at least one or two in your city, county, or state. After all, other dog parents are going through the same challenges as you!
Local dog or pet-centered organizations might be hosting more mellow get-togethers that include all the BBQ and community without the dreaded fireworks, blaring tunes, or rowdy throngs of people.
Go Someplace Remote and Quiet
The 4th of July is meant to be a celebration – not a test of your patriotism via crowded events that scare your dog! Because of this, you may find it much less stressful to simply forego traditional 4th of July parties. Instead, take your dog on a trip to a quieter place.
Try camping or hiking in remote state or national parks. The cost of admission is usually quite reasonable, and if you’ve already got a tent, staying overnight is way less than a hotel.
You’ll be miles away from upsetting fireworks and loud music. Plus, you’ll be celebrating the natural wonders of America.
Tire Them out for a Happy 4th of July
Dog parents from all over know this rule: a tired pup is a happy pup. This is just as true on July 4 – if you use up all of your dog’s energy before people start setting off fireworks, they’re far less likely to freak out.
Why? Because getting stressed out and anxious takes energy. Plus, if you’ve really tired them out, they’re more likely to just sleep through the potentially scary sounds.
So, how do you tire your dog out? There are all kinds of options. Go for a long walk, hike, or run. Spend the morning/early afternoon playing. Head to a dog park for a few hours. If they swim, take them to their favorite water hole. You get the idea.
Whatever you do, push them hard – within safe limits – to make sure they are truly good and tuckered out by the time all the pops and bangs begin.
Microchipping – Just in Case
Now is a good time to consider getting your dog microchipped. You may not want to believe they would bolt from your home in fear of fireworks, but many run-aways happen every year in July.
Essentials PetCare offers microchips with lifetime registration for just $30.
However you end up spending Independence Day, we wish you and your pup a happy and safe one!
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