Explosions, Shelters, Dogs, And The 4th of July?
Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for shelters? Some dogs are terrified of the loud noises, bright flashes and the scent of pyrotechnics that are associated with 4th of July celebrations. They will seize any opportunity to dash out the door, jump a fence or break loose from their collar and leash. As dog lovers, it’s our responsibility to keep them safe and secure during the festivities.
—First and foremost, keep your pet indoors! This may seem obvious, but even if your dog is used to being outdoors, the sudden and very loud noises of fireworks may startle her and her instinct will be to seek protection. She may try to wiggle out of her constraints and jump a fence and in an instant, she’s gone. Make your pet as comfortable as possible inside your home. Blankets, toys, the distraction of a TV or music and consider placing her in a kennel or an escape-proof room. It only takes a second for them to dash out an open door.
—Prepare in advance! If your pet isn’t micro-chipped, consider having it done right away. If your pet is micro-chipped, make sure your contact information is updated and current. At the very least, put a tag on her with your current contact info. Take a photo of her so you’ll have something recent, just in case. The more information you provide, the better chance you have of getting your beloved pet home should she run away.
—If you’re hosting a party, make sure your guests don’t drop skewers or potentially toxic food on the ground. Keep your dog away from the BBQ grill, alcohol, caffeine or fatty foods. After the party, check your yard for debris and any other potentially hazardous objects/foods that may harm your pet.
—If absolutely necessary, consider talking to your vet about a mild sedative. This will help her stay calm during the height of the celebration. There are also Thunder Shirts which have been known to help in some instances. Make sure she’s used to wearing one prior to the 4th of July.
—Soothing words from you will help comfort her if her anxiety is high. Reassurance that everything will be okay, that you’re there for her, will go a long way in helping to keep her calm.
—Lastly, if you see a terrified dog running down the street, try to coax her into your garage or other safe haven. So many dogs are “on the run” and they run the risk of being hit by a car, attacked by other dogs or picked up by people with bad intentions. If you have someplace safe that you can keep her, please do so and check for contact info.
4th of July is a big summer American holiday with a LOT of festivities going on all around and with a few safety precautions, you can get your dog through it without incident. Wishing you all a safe, fun-filled day with family, friends and your fur babies!