The biggest summer holiday is fast approaching: the Fourth of July. Here’s a comparison between what I think of this holiday and what my dog thinks about it. Would you and your dog relate?
Me: On July 4, 1776, 13 colonies did the unthinkable and claimed independence from Great Britain. Family and friends throw celebrations that continue to grow, with bigger and better food and fireworks than the year before. The larger the firework, the bigger the bang, which makes it all worthwhile to celebrate the freedom so many have fought.
My dog: What’s that smell? BBQ, yummy! Can I have some? Please, please, please! Look at these eyes… Oh no! What’s that noise? It’s really loud. Help! Are we under attack? I need to hide...
Some dogs might not feel this way. If you have a hunting dog that goes on regular hunting trips with you, they are used to the sound of gunfire. But if you aren’t a hunter, then your dog is probably scared like my dog is at the sound of fireworks.
According to the American Humane Society, July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters because so many dogs get scared and run away or get lost during the July 4 celebration.
Some prep work will help your dog feel great this 4th of July. One of the best things you can do is as early as possible, give them LOTS of love and attention earlier in the day. If you are going out for the 4th of July, make sure your dog is exercised earlier in the day so they will be tired out from a fun walk in the morning with you, or a trip to the dog park.
4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe this Fourth of July:
- Keep your dog at home! I know you want to bring them with you. But it’s hot and they can’t take off their fur coat. Not to mention fireworks! We know you love taking your dog everywhere, but this is a really good day to leave them safely at home.
- Block the sounds of the fireworks at home. If your dog gets nervous over the gunfire sounds of the fireworks, work to find a safe place at home. Cover the sound of fireworks by keeping dogs in a middle room on the first level or basement of the house so they can't hear as much from the windows. Another trick is to turn on the TV and leave it on. You may want to have the volume high so they hear that more than the sound of fireworks.
- Watch what your dog eats. Just as you will get an upset stomach if you eat something that you aren’t used to, so will your dog. Be sure your dog doesn’t eat too much or get into foods that are toxic for them including alcohol, chocolate, citrus, grapes and raisins. Often this might not be your mistake, but someone not used to having a dog around like a child or non-pet person who left their plate on the ground or a seat, the perfect level for your dog to chow down on.
- Be sure your dog has their identification tags on. If they manage to get away, someone will hopefully be able to track you down if they find your dog before you do. Of course, if they are already chipped, you are covered here too.
Here’s a great infographic from PetFinder.com that can help you make sure your dog has a safe holiday:
No matter what you do, we hope you and your beloved fur-baby have a safe and happy 4th of July!