It’s Fireworks season!

I know July 4th is seven weeks away but it is a FAST approaching holiday that terrorizes animals all over the United States.

Every year, dogs get spooked and lost on the Fourth of July.    Here are some tips to prepare you and your dog for one of the more traumatic holidays (in your dogs eyes).

  • Don’t leave them in the back yard. A terrified dog is capable of escaping nearly any enclosure.
  • Leave your dog at home. I know you’d love to take him to your neighbors for the annual blowout, but don’t take the risk.  Leave him home where he’s safe.
  • Feed him long before the fireworks begin. Many dogs can’t eat when they’re stressed out.
  • Offer your dog a special chew toy in their relaxation room.
  • Have a safe room away from the front and back doors of your home.
  • Play soothing music. Don’t play a radio station that may inadvertently play sounds of fireworks.
  • If your dog is reactive to the smell of the fireworks, diffuse some essential oils.  Lavender is a calming smell for humans and dogs alike!
  • Play fireworks sounds or videos at a slowly increasing volume.  You’ve got seven weeks folks, don’t start off thinking “But these go to Eleven!!” on day one
  • Start closing your dog in the “safe room” for quiet time when you’re home AND not home.  You may need to run to the store for more fireworks or grilling supplies!
  • If you have a leftover firework (think sparkler or roman candle) from last year, set it off away from your dog and introduce the spent firwork to your dog as you give them a yummy treat like bits of hot dogs.  We want the smell of fireworks paired with something highly rewarding.

Above all else, be sure your dog has their identification tags on.  If all else fails, whoever finds your dog can call YOU instead of the shelter.