How to Keep Your Dog Calm on the 4th of July
Celebrations, backyard barbeques, and fireworks are part of the Fourth of July holiday. While fireworks are one of the main events most people look forward to seeing, dogs feel quite differently. Many dogs suffer severe anxiety and stress when they hear the sound of fireworks.
Whether you are putting on your own display in your neighborhood or the sound of the major fireworks in your city can be heard from your house, your dog feels equally as stressed.
Here are tips that will help keep your dog calm on the fourth of July.
Keep Your Dog Indoors
The protection of the house immediately lowers stress levels and provides your dog with plenty of places to hide. In the wild, dogs are den animals and feel calmer when in a similar environment such as your house. If your dog is used to being in a crate, it could also help them feel protected as long as the crate is indoors and spacious enough for them to rest.
Keeping your dog indoors also helps keep them safe from stray fireworks and neighborhood kids looking for trouble. Unfortunately, there have been reports that teenagers enjoy scaring and harming dogs with fireworks. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen in your neighborhood but it’s better to be safe and keep your dog in the house.
Stay Home with Your Dog
You might have been invited to go out on the 4th of July, but if your dog suffers from severe stress staying home with them is a better option. However, if you have your heart set on going out to visit friends, try to leave the party early and make it back home in time before the fireworks begin. Your dog will feel safer when they know you are home to protect them from the noise.
If you don’t want to miss out on festivities, bring your dog with you to the party where you can keep an eye on them or have a party at your house and invite your friends over.
Keep in mind if you take your dog to someone’s house, you need to alert them ahead of time to make sure it’s ok. Also, ask if there are any special rules your dog needs to follow.
Exercise Your Dog Before the Festivities Begin
Allow your dog to run around and play a little more than usual earlier in the day to help them get out their playful energy. The exercise will help them feel relaxed and sleepy. Chances are your dog will more interested in sleeping during the evening instead of paying attention to all the festivities outdoors.
Make exercise time fun for your dog by taking them on a hike, a new walking route, or swimming. Maybe visit a park and play fetch or Frisbee and let your dog socialize with others. The mental stimulation and playtime will help your dog feel more balanced later in the evening.
Create a Safe Place for Your Dog
Dogs love being part of a pack and your family. However, they also like to have their own bed, toys, food bowls, and blankets to call their own. Create a corner of a room in the house where your dog has all their favorite things in one place. This special area will give them a place to hide while the fireworks are going on outside.
You can make the area more den-like by choosing a corner in a laundry room or bedroom. The small room helps them feel secluded and safe.
Muffle the Fireworks Sound
You can muffle the sound of fireworks by putting music on in the house. Turn the volume up to the point where it will blend in with the fireworks or completely cover the explosive sounds up. Classical music is relaxing for dogs to hear and it helps soothe their nerves but it doesn’t always cover up the sound of fireworks.
Other types of music such as country and classic rock are excellent options to help your dog maintain calm while muffling the noise. This is an excellent option if you plan to leave your dog home alone.
Dogs suffer from anxiety when they hear loud noises but you have the power to prevent the situation from happening or help your dog cope with the noise. Dogs that are home alone and hear fireworks often get scared and release their stress by running around the house, chewing on furniture, and destroying property.
Make sure you have a plan for your dog on the Fourth of July that will help reduce their stress and help them feel safe!