With the Fourth of July just around the corner, now is a good time to think through your plans for your dog during those festive fireworks. While some dogs have no problem with the sight and sound of fireworks, for many others, it can be a particularly stressful event.
Did you know that more dogs run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year? That’s why it’s crucial to take precautions in advance of the holiday. Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your dog’s safety.
- Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Did we mention that preparation is a crucial element to ensure the safety and comfort of your dog prior to his first fireworks experience?If you can’t be with your dog during the fireworks, we recommend placing him with a friend or family member who can keep him company during the show to soothe him during the loud pops, bangs and bursts.If it’s an unfamiliar place for your dog, we recommend taking him there several times in advance so it’s a familiar and comfortable setting.
- Create a Safe Space
If you can’t take your dog somewhere and you aren’t going to be home, we recommend placing him in a crate with the radio playing. Be sure to include a treat, like a frozen Kong to keep him busy. We do require supervision for our service dogs in training ages six months and younger, and we highly recommend it for any all pets who will be experiencing their first fireworks display.
- Practice Makes Perfect
During our service dog training, we routinely expose our dogs to different sights and sounds. Although fireworks are louder and brighter, we do practice playing loud sounds for our dogs to help acclimate them to the noise. If possible, we recommend playing recorded sounds of fireworks in the months in the lead-up to the Fourth of July to help condition your dog.
- Talk to Your Dog
If you are going to be with your dog during the fireworks, continue to talk to him, and send him reassuring messages that there’s nothing to worry about. As we like to say, “throw a party” if you notice your dog doesn’t react to the initial loud noises. Don’t be afraid to pull out those tasty bones, treats and toys to make the time special and fun for him.Remember, just a few steps on your part can ensure that both you and your dog can enjoy a very happy Fourth of July.