4th of July

4th of July4th of July is as American as apple pie; am I right? We all love celebrating our Nation’s Independence. After all, the founding of this country set the pace and tone, good and bad, for the America that we know today.  However, as we prepare to bring our friends and family together for a day of good times, good food and even better fireworks, we often times forget to prepare for our most beloved companions, our dogs.  So where do you begin?

Start by assessing whether or not your dog will be traumatized by any events of the day.  Is your dog sensitive to the sights and sounds relative to the 4th of July? Does he frighten easily? Does your dog get anxiety if you leave him alone while you are out celebrating? Does your dog stress out when you have a house full of guests?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have some preparing to do!

4th of July products that may bring some relief to your dog.

  1. The Thundershirt is a cozy shirt that your dog can wear during any times of stress. This unique shirt brings relief to your pet by mimicking the effects of a hug or pressure therapy! The shirt applies just enough pressure to your dog’s chest to relieve some anxiety. 
  2. Rescue Remedy Pet helps reduce stress and problem behaviors. Your dog will be on his way to relaxation with just a few healing drops.  These drops can be gently rubbed into your dog’s ears and paws and you can even put a few drops into his water.  The combination of five flower essences can do wonders!
  3. Sentry Calming Collar is another way to calm your dog down under the most stressful of circumstances. This collar reduces stress and problem behaviors by releasing pheromones.  It’s great because, unlike pheromone room sprays, as long as your dog has the collar on, he’ll benefit from the calming effects. In fact, Momma dogs release pheromones to benefit their puppies the moment they are born!

Follow these additional tips to keep the day of July 4th safe & happy!  

  1. Prepare for the worst. Microchip your dog if you have not already done so! The day after July 4th is the single busiest day of the year for animal shelters all across the United States! For another added measure, be sure that your dog is wearing his identification tags on his collar.  Both of these modes of identification will help your dog be quickly and easily reunited with you should he get lost!
  2. Provide your dog with a place of retreat within your home.  If your dog knows he has a safe spot to hide in your home, he will be less likely to try and dart out the door when the explosion of fireworks begins.  If your dog has a crate that’s wonderful!  However, no need to run out and purchase one.  Whether it’s in a darkened room, under a table or in a closet, your dog just needs some safe place to take shelter.
  3. Block out all evidence of the Fireworks by creating barriers to the signs and sounds. It’s easier than you think. Close the blinds, draw the blinds and put on the television or music. Music works wonders to block out sound but also produces calming effects in our dogs. Fans or air conditioners are great barriers to sound as well.
  4. Provide your dog with multiple ways to reduce his energy level before the festivities begin. Take him a long walk or two, and engage in some play time.  If your dog is good and tired, he’ll naturally be less prone to the stressors of the day.
  5. Take your dog out for potty breaks BEFORE the fireworks begin. You are just asking for trouble if you think it’s ok to let your dog out in your fenced yard, or anywhere for that matter, during the fireworks.  Dogs still have that fight or flee response within them. You would be surprised to see just how fast your dog can hop your fence when he perceives that his life is in danger.  If you must take your dog out during the fireworks, be sure he is on a leash and he’s wearing his identification tags.

It may seem like a lot of work to prepare however, it’s well worth it in the end. There’s nothing worse than watching your dog suffer the effects of stress and anxiety due to 4th of July festivities.  There’s no way to explain to him what’s going on so your preparations and patience is paramount to his safety and well-being this 4th of July and beyond.

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