Freedom, liberty, independence. All worthy of celebration! But, here’s a surprising fact - more dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year. All because of fireworks!
So, how can you keep your dog safe this July 4th?
With enough time, you can recondition your dog to associate the loud booms to a pleasurable action. By playing the recording of firework sounds repeatedly before going outside, meals, or even snuggle/playtime, your dog can learn to look forward to what follows fireworks.
Some canine behavioral experts, like Cesar, recommend playing the recorded sound of fireworks for your dog at an increasingly louder volume for three or four months.
Since we are only a few days out from July 4th, let’s keep that approach in mind for next year. There are still some ways to help your dog prepare for this year’s festivities.
If your house backs up to the city’s display of fireworks, perhaps relocate your dog for the holiday - a friend or family member’s house, or even a doggie day care. Just be sure to acclimate your dog to the new location a few times leading up to the day.
When removing your dog from within earshot of fireworks just isn’t feasible (keep in mind dogs hear noises 4x the distance of humans!) then provide a small, safe place for them to hunker down. For many, this may be their crate with their favorite toys away from windows. For others, this may also involve the use of a “Thundershirt.”
Contrary to popular use, Thundershirts should be placed on your dog prior to them showing the emotional triggers of stress like heaving panting and pacing. Thundershirts should keep them from getting anxious, but can have a tough time calming down an already stressed out dog.
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