As I’m sure you have heard, more dogs go missing on Fourth of July than any other day. Your dog may share your love for America, BBQs and beer, but believe me, he or she does not share your love of fireworks.
Think of your dog as a person with horrible PTSD, who is also incredibly cute, furry, and dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to knowing what the hell is going on – Fireworks are terrifying! Growing up, I had the absolute greatest dog – never ran away or did anything ‘bad’ … except around fireworks, in which case she would lose her freaking mind.
Here are some easy ways to enjoy your fireworks and make it the least shitty for your pup (and cat):
Never take dogs to firework display or leave them outside during fireworks
Keep them inside and consider today to be one of those special times when you loosen up on the ‘no dogs on the couch’ policy. If possible, just stay inside with them.
Make sure they’re wearing their collars with up-to-date tags
Regardless of you pup’s typical athletic ability, this might be the day they summon their inner Usain Bolt and Forest Gump (run insanely fast without any actual destination or plan). This is also another reason a microchip is a wise idea (they’re easily provided by your vet).
Drown out the sound
Do something to drown out the sounds, which your dog assumes is the end of days.
- Turn on some music or the TV
- Or better yet (maybe?) play music that is specially designed to calm dogs by Through A Dog’s Ear
- Put on Relax My Dog’s YouTube Channel for hours of uninterrupted dog-calming music
- Here’s what I like to call their OMFG FIREWORKS Playlist
- A loud fan or a dehumidifier
Close all windows and curtains
Scared to death dogs sometimes try to jump out windows – even on upper floors. (Again, think Usain Bolt).
Distract with games and treat
Play games to distract your dog from the impending doom, and realize that now is no time to be stingy with treats. As you and your stress knows all too well, food has a beneficial effect on brain chemistry.
A Schnazzy Thundershirt
The naturally occurring hormone (that you sometimes take to get sleepy) can work wonders to calm a dog. The dosage is 3 mg for a 50 lb. dog – adjust the dosage by bodyweight (do the math). Other natural calming supplements for dogs including herbs, homeopathics and nutriceuticals are also available at a pet store.