The Fourth of July is coming up, meaning many dog owners will be dealing with howling, barking, and generally anxious dogs. It’s largely believed that Independence Day is the day when the highest number of dogs run away. Here are tips to prevent your dog from freaking out during fireworks:
"When those boom booms are over I'll open my eyes!"~ Erica Cleary
1. Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks: Don’t take your dogs to fireworks shows or leave them outside during fireworks. Keeping your dog inside in the evening on the Fourth of July is the best idea, especially if you fear they might not react well.
2. Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper ID: Ensure that the information on your pet’s collar is current and make sure your dog is microchipped and has a GPS device. If they escape, there’s a better chance they’ll get returned.
3. Create a Safe Haven For Your Dog: Create a place where your dog will (hopefully) feel comfortable. You should get your pet used to a calming environment beforehand. Dogs are den animals, they’re looking for that cave to get away from it all. Try setting up an area in a quiet space away from windows, such as a basement or a larger closet, so that they can’t hear or see fireworks. Use a crate if that’s where your dog feels safe, and make sure to provide your pup with familiar toys and treats.
4. Play White Noise: You can try leaving a fan, TV, or radio on to help mask the sounds of the fireworks.
5. Walk Them Before the Fireworks Start: Head out for your long walk before the sun sets to increase the chances that you’ll avoid the sounds. When you do go out, you’ll want to ensure your dog is secure on a leash before your walk.
6. Desensitize Your Dog to the Sounds of Fireworks: If you suspect your dog will freak out at the sound of fireworks, try playing sounds of fireworks (softly) so your dog is used to hearing them. Try pairing a video of the sounds of fireworks with a treat your dog likes in a process called counter-conditioning.