Fourth of July is a time of happiness and celebration, but it's not all fun and games for our dogs. The ultimate cap to the Independence Day festivities, fireworks are something not often enjoyed by animals because of how loud they are. Sadly, for this reason, there tends to be an uptick in lost dogs turning up in shelters in the days following July 4 every year. We teamed up with our friends at DogVacay and Nudges to put together a list of tips for how to handle your Fourth of July holiday with your pup.
- Tire him out. Spend as much time as you can playing with your dog the day of the fireworks to tire him out both physically and mentally. This will calm him when the nighttime festivities start.
- Keep him inside. This one seems obvious, but it bears repeating. Keep your dog inside your house, and make sure all the doors and windows are shut so he can't leave if he gets scared. It also wouldn't hurt to try to give him a comfortable place to hang out while the fireworks are happening. Make sure he has water and some summery treats with him.
- Keep him distracted. After you've got him comfortably shut inside the house, give him something to keep busy and distracted. Kong toys filled with treats or peanut butter are a great way to keep him busy until the fireworks end.
- Leave the decision up to him. It's not a surprise if your dog is scared of fireworks. They're loud and bright and unnatural. If your dog hides long after the fireworks are over, let him be. Give him time to calm down and come out on his own terms. Trying to force him out could upset him further.
- Stay calm. If you stay calm, it'll help your pup stay calm. It's as simple as that.
- Double-check his tags and chip. In the event that your dog does manage to escape in fear, make sure his tags and microchip are up to date and currently on him before any of your Fourth of July festivities begin.