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Oh boy, July 4th fireworks are coming soon! What fun, hey? That is, if you are a human. Not so much if you are a dog. We may all be best friends, but keep in mind that we don’t share everything. People don’t like to roll in cow pies or dead fish, and dogs don’t enjoy fireworks, so consider these important tips before the July 4th festivities begin:
1. First and foremost, don’t take your dog out to a July 4th celebration! Period. Even super stable dogs who appear oblivious to loud sounds can be affected by just one especially loud boom. Sometimes you won’t see the symptoms until long after the event, so don’t assume a dog who looks “just fine” isn’t being affected by loud noises.
2. Better safe than sorry: Be sure that your dog has identification on at all times. Even the most responsible of owners can end up with a dog who slips its collar and runs away (or goes out of a window) during an especially loud burst of sound. Many dogs are lost during firework displays and thunderstorms; don’t let it be one of yours.
3. If you know that your dog is sound sensitive, plan ahead. Stay home if you can, keep your dog in a quiet place as far away from exterior walls and windows as possible, and consider a range of tools to help a fearful dog cope, from body wraps like “Thundershirts” to soothing music to medication for truly serious cases (for more information, see links below).
4. Be aware that “thunder phobia” and “fear of fireworks” are similar conditions. Both are caused by dogs being startled by abrupt, loud noises. For more information on how to treat and prevent sound sensitivity, see my articles on Thunder Phobia in The Reading Room…
5. If you’re having house guests over for the holidays and your dog enjoys socializing, remember to still give her some alone time in a quiet place. Even the life of the party gets tired after awhile.
If you want to read more about how to keep your dog(s) safe, happy, and healthy during holidays, travel, or when you leave him with a sitter, check out this section in The Reading Room.