Tips for a Stress-Free Dog on the 4th of July
The reason why dogs are afraid of fireworks is simple — it’s a survival instinct. Dogs are afraid of loud, unfamiliar noises, and the unpredictable booming noises of fireworks can cause dogs to panic and run away. We know you’re eagerly at work preparing your ultimate backyard barbecue or stunning (and safe!) at-home fireworks display, but make sure everyone in the family has a great July 4th — including the family dog.
Before the Independence Day festivities, take the proper precautions to prepare your pets:
If your dog is not microchipped, talk to your veterinarian and see if you can schedule microchipping before July 4th. This way, if your pup gets startled and runs away you have a much greater chance of relocating them.
Ensure your dog has up-to-date ID tags. A silicone dog ID tag with their name and your contact information will allow you to get them back as quickly as possible if found by a neighbor.
Avoid the possibility of your dog breaking away during the fireworks celebrations and check all of your gates, fences, and other barriers. Is your backyard secure? Is your fence tall enough to prevent Fido from jumping over?
If your dog historically has problems with loud noises or has had issues with previous July 4th celebrations, behavioral therapy can be worth the investment to avoid problems and prevent your dog barking at fireworks. Consult your veterinarian and ask if behavioral therapy can reduce the risk of harmful reactions in your furry friend when fireworks inevitably go off.
Okay, it’s the big day! Here’s what you should do to keep your dog safe and happy:
Planning to take the family to a party, barbecue of a friend or family member, July 4th parade, or other gathering with a ton of people? Leave your dog at home. Large crowds and loud noises from fireworks cause dog anxiety — avoid spooking them by leaving them in a safe environment.
If you’re hosting an event at home consider putting your dog in an enclosed, escape-proof room or crate before launching fireworks. If other people in the neighborhood or surrounding area may be setting off fireworks, it’s better to keep your dog inside the house for the duration of the festivities.
Don’t feed your dog table scraps from your bounteous feast — many common foods and drinks are toxic for dogs, including beer, chocolate, onions, salt, coffee, grapes, raisins, and avocado.
Many materials and objects that will be used for grilling and for celebrating July 4th are dangerous for dogs. Inform your guests, especially children, to keep the following items far away from your cherished canine — insect repellant, matches, lighter fluid, charcoal, skewers, glow sticks, and sparklers.
Don’t stress your dog out by dehydrating them. Keep your dog out of direct sunlight and heat exposure for prolonged periods of time. Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water, access to shade, or hanging out indoors.
So you’ve packed up the leftovers from the barbecue and slept off the multiple rounds of red, white, and blue margaritas. Here’s what you should check after July 4th before assuming it’s “back to business” with your pup:
Walk your entire yard and clear all firework debris and other garbage. Firework debris, even from neighbors, can show up in your grass. Even a small amount can prove hazardous, even fatal, to your dog. Don’t neglect this important step!
Do not store excess fireworks inside your home. Even unused fireworks are potentially hazardous to dogs — if you must store leftover fireworks do so in a locked shed or in an off-limits area like a basement or storage locker.
Take all of the trash out and remove food debris and scraps from the outdoor dining areas. Clean your grill and remove all kabobs and other materials that fall out.
If your pup behaves and makes it through what is undoubtedly the scariest day of the year for dogkind, treat them to a fun outdoor hike, swim in the lake, or a new juicy bone to reward them. Follow the tips above to keep your dog safe and stress-free during a day of explosions, fireworks, and raucous revelry.
From all of us at QALO, happy July 4th, to you and your furry best friend!