So this year I have finally decided to buy Hunter a ThunderShirt for the 4th of July. After three years of not being able to console him at all during random neighborhood fireworks, I’ve realized I may have to try something different this year. We’ll see if Roscoe needs one too. I’ve noticed that he follows Hunter’s lead with most things, so I am hoping that if the ThunderShirt calms Hunter down, Roscoe will also be calm. I am still skeptical it will work, but enough people have said it works for their dogs to convince me to give it a try. Stay tuned for my review!
If the 4th of July is also not your dog’s favorite holiday, here are some other tips to try to make the 4th a little easier on him or her this year. Let me know what works to calm your dog down in the comments!
1. Keep Your Dog Inside
Maybe your dog doesn’t mind fireworks, but chances are the combination of crowds and loud noises won’t make for a fun event for your dog. In fact, more dogs get lost after being scared and running away on the 4th of July than any other holiday. Safe stay by keeping your dog inside.
2. Get Some Exercise
The best way to avoid a freaked out dog is to wear him out, so he has less energy later. Take your dog for a long hike or a trip to the dog park before the fireworks to allow him to work off some energy. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a calm dog.
3. Stock up on toys and treats
If you’ll be home with your dog, you should plan some activities to do with him or her during the fireworks. The key is to start the activities before the fireworks start though, since he may too distracted once it begins. You can play games with your dog, teach him new tricks and give him lots of treats to take his mind off the fireworks and give him a positive association with the noises.
4. Play Soothing Music
Once the fireworks start, and especially if you will be leaving your pets for the night, turn on soothing music or your television to drown out some of the noise. Even if there is not an official fireworks display near you, there’s a good chance someone in your neighborhood will be letting off their own fireworks. It happens every year no matter where I live.
5. Make sure your pet is properly IDed
Hundreds of dogs end up at shelters each 4th of July after running away from being scared by fireworks. Make sure your pet has tags on his collar and that the information registered with your pet’s microchip (if he or she has one) is up to date. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
With these tips in mind, I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July with your dog!