Sorry to break it to you, but it’s true. A holiday focused on loud noises, crowds and sitting outside in the heat is probably not your dog’s favorite day. Chances are your dog does something like this once the fireworks start:
The 4th of July can be a very scary time for a dog. To help make the day a little less stressful for your dog, here are some of Cesar Milan’s* (I’ve been watching a lot of The Dog Whisperer lately, sorry) top tips for dealing with dogs and fireworks:
1) Take your dog on a long walk before the fireworks start. Plan at least a 2 mile walk or whatever would be a significant jump up from what you normally do. If you can wear him out before the fireworks start, chances are high that he will be too tired to focus on the fireworks.
2) Distract your dog during the fireworks. Work on obedience training or give him a toy to keep him busy. Basically get him focused on something other than the fireworks.
3) Use your dog’s nose. Scents like lavender and pine help a dog to feel relaxed.
4) Maintain a calm and assertive energy. Although no one does this as well as Cesar, this is always good advice. Don’t get stressed out or angry with the dog for being upset. The negative emotions will just encourage the dog’s anxiety.
5) Use canine-safe earplugs. Dogs have good reason to not love fireworks, they are extremely loud and disturbing to their very sensitive ears. If you can mitigate the noise, you should be able to minimize your dog’s anxiety.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th of July! If you take any fun 4th of July-themed dog pictures, make sure to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*See all of Cesar’s tips here: http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/seasonal/fireworks