For many dogs, the Fourth of July brings with it something utterly terrifying: fireworks. Similar to thunderstorms, fireworks can stress and worry your dog, especially if he’s home alone. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, here are some ways you can help make the holiday a little bit easier for your canine companion.
Stay With Your Dog
Try not to leave your dog home alone on the Fourth of July. If you know that fireworks make your dog anxious, or if you have a new dog and do not know how he will react to fireworks, it is best to try to make sure that someone is present to help reassure him and keep him safe. Alternatively, you might look into hiring a pet sitter or putting your dog in a boarding facility located in an area where the fireworks will be quieter.
As the night approaches, providing your dog with distractions can make dealing with the fireworks easier for him. Turn on a TV or radio for background noise. If you have air conditioning, you might close the house’s windows and turn on the air conditioner to further drown out the sound of the fireworks. Getting down on the floor and patting your dog, grooming him, or playing with him can also help. Depending on your dog’s fear level, a new toy may be enough to distract him from the fireworks.
Provide Your Dog With a Safe Place
Whether or not you’re able to be present with your dog, be sure that he has access to a place he feels secure. This can be his dog bed, his favorite area in the house or even his crate if he is crate trained. Your dog may seek this area out because it feels secure and familiar. If he goes into his safe area, do not try to encourage or force him to come out. Remember, your dog has gone to this area out of fear, and his reactions to you may also be based in fear. You don’t want to risk getting injured.
Use Calming Products
There are a wide variety of calming products available for dogs. Wraps designed to make dogs feel secure, like Thundershirts, may help to keep your dog calm when the fireworks are going off. You might also try calming sprays or treats to see if your pet can benefit from the results.
Talk With Your Dog’s Veterinarian
If your dog experiences severe firework anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about the issue. In some cases, your vet might prescribe a mild sedative to help relax your dog when you know he will need to cope with fireworks.
With a little preparation, you can help your dog cope with the Fourth of July fireworks.
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