3 Tips for Surviving the 4th of July With Your Dog!

Shelby Semel Dog Training :: 3 tips for surviving the 4th of July with your dog!

Create a safe, calm place

Please do not have your dog outside! They do not appreciate fireworks the same way we do and can become anxious or panicked at the sound. If this describes your dog, one of the best things you can do is to create a safe, calm place where your dog can relax and not be bothered by the loud pops of fireworks.

Muffling the sounds of fireworks is key. Try using a white noise machine, or play classical music. Through a Dog’s ear works particularly well to help your dog relax.

Try adding some calming supplements to your dog’s routine. We recommend the D.A.P. diffuser. This releases a synthetic copy of the pheromone released by dogs after giving birth helps promote relaxation. We also recommend Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Chews, which can be given on an as needed basis to help combat firework phobia.

Finally, giving your dog a highly rewarding stuffed kong can further help him relax. Chewing and licking are actions known to promote calm and and relaxation in dogs, and giving your dog something to focus on can prevent him from noticing any stray sounds that filter through your noise barrier. Try using novel foods in his kong, like cream cheese, cottage cheese, or baby food, and mix it up by adding in chunks of cheese, hot dog, or freeze dried meats. Yum!

Schedule Relief Walks

Make sure that you have walked your dog and allowed him to relieve himself before the onset of fireworks. When you take your dog out, be prepared for stray pops of fireworks set off by neighbors practicing for the big event. Bring out some really special and yummy goodies with you to rain down on your dog anytime a loud noise occurs. Also ensure that your dog’s collar and/or harness are well fitted and unable to come off and your dog’s identification tags are up to date in case your dog does get spooked and attempts to flee. More dogs go missing on July 4th than any other holiday - be prepared so that your dog does not end up a statistic!

Talk to your Vet

If your dog has a serious and debilitating fear of fireworks or loud noises, talk to your vet ahead of time to see if he is a candidate for medication. There are short term medications they can offer to help your dog relax. Make sure that your vet does NOT prescribe Acepromazine. Check out the following article by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker for more information why.

Happy 4th!