The Fourth of July is the most important holiday of the summer, and most of us look forward to spending time with friends and family, eating a lot of food, and, of course, watching fireworks. While our favorite holiday traditions can be a lot of fun for people, you may be thinking, “Can I bring my dog to see the fireworks?” Unfortunately, these patriotic celebrations can be frightening, if not harmful, for our four-legged family members.
It can be difficult to keep your dog calm during the 4th of July fireworks displays.The American Humane Association reports that more pets go missing during the Fourth of July celebrations than at any other time of year. The 5th of July is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Pets might be terrified by pyrotechnics and flee into the night.
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So, how can you tell whether your dog is afraid of fireworks? While not all dogs are terrified of fireworks, over 40% may be sensitive to noise. Thunderstorms, pyrotechnics, gunshots, and even a car backfiring can set off the stress-inducing “fight or flight” response.
Noise sensitivity symptoms include:
- Pacing \sShivering
- They are licking their lips.
- Putting their ears back
If you see any of these symptoms, your dog may have noise sensitivity. The good news is that even if your dog is terrified of loud noises, you can still enjoy the holiday festivities while keeping your dog calm during fireworks. Continue reading to learn how to prepare your dog for the big event, as well as how to use CBD to calm dogs when the July 4th fireworks are taking place.
Safe and Sound
Websites abound with strategies to keep your dog quiet during fireworks on July 4th, from the AKC to The Kennel Club to Hill’s. Here are some helpful hints for you and your dog.
Leave Your Pets at Home
Even if you want to bring your best pals, it’s best to leave them at home in a safe place while you go to fireworks and other celebrations. Loud noises, odd smells, and large crowds can all be frightening to your dogs.They are more likely to become afraid and flee in these conditions.Forcing them to be somewhere that makes them fearful or anxious is never a good decision.
Make a Safe Space
Your pet is safest at home in a closed, quiet, and familiar room. Put out a soft bed, blanket, or box for them to sleep in, and turn on a TV, radio, or fan to give white noise and help muffle loud sounds from outside. Distract them with their favorite toys, and consider taking them for an extra-long walk during the day to burn off excess energy. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink because worried people tend to pant excessively, and present them to a delightful treat made with calming components.
If your dog is overly terrified of fireworks, have someone in the room to touch and calm them down when they become anxious. If your dog hides, do not force them out, ignore them, or reprimand them for their afraid behavior. They look to you for comfort and will be more relaxed if you are with them and behave as though everything is fine.
Provide and Update Proper ID
Ensure that your pets, both cats and dogs, have identity tags that include your current information, such as name, address, and phone number. If your pet becomes separated from you, this is his or her best chance of returning home!
Even with correct tags, which can be misplaced or removed, ensure that your pet is microchipped and that all of your contact information is current with the microchip registry. Any pet found and transported to a shelter or medical facility will be screened for a microchip, so keeping your contact information up to date is critical for reuniting with your pet.
Keep Them Safe Outdoors
If you must go outside with your pets during the holiday season, make sure they are properly restrained on a leash. It’s also crucial to remember that too much sun and heat, even for a short period of time, can be deadly.
Keep them indoors when it’s particularly hot or humid, make sure they have access to shade and fresh, ample water, and be aware of the symptoms that a pet may be overheated. Even if your pet is in a fenced-in yard, never leave them alone outside. And never leave them chained outside.
Desensitize the Sound of Fireworks
Playing soft firework sounds for your dog in preparation for the big day may be beneficial. To counter-condition your dog, consider giving them rewards while they are playing. This places your dog in an ideal learning environment for desensitizing them to the loud booms of fireworks displays.
Be Aware of Hidden Dangers
Even if you don’t intend to be near any loud fireworks displays, many of the items you use to celebrate are hazardous to your pet. Pets should avoid glow jewelry, fireworks, matches, lighter fluid, citronella candles, insect repellents, and tiki torch products.Pets can be highly curious and get into or play with virtually anything, so be cautious to keep them safe.