Fourth of July Tips: Helping Your Dog Cope With Fireworks
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and you know what that means… lots of fireworks! Although they’re a lot of fun, and we love to watch the pretty colors in the sky, your dog thinks differently. You must remember that dogs have much better hearing than us, so the loud and unexpected sounds can be scary to them. Unfortunately, if you’re not setting off fireworks in your own garden, there’s not much else you can do about the sounds, as many others are going to still do it. The best thing you can do is help your dog cope with it until it passes.
If you have found in previous years that your dog doesn’t handle fireworks well or you’re a new owner, you don’t have to worry. We’ve put together some of the best ways you can calm your dog and ensure they are as comfortable as possible during the event.
Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks
This seems like an obvious one, but some owners may not realize the damage that taking your dog to a firework display may cause. The best thing to do is not set off fireworks yourself, and if you do decide to go to a display, don’t take your pup with you. There will still be noises from neighbors, but this will help make the painful sounds for them just a little bit better.
Escape-Proof Your Home and Garden
Your dog’s first instinct when they hear a loud noise is to run far away. There have been many instances in the past of dogs climbing out of windows and hopping over fences. This just brings a whole new problem for you having to try to find your pup. The best thing is to ensure every door and window is closed in your home, so they have nowhere to go. If they manage to make a break for it, try and put up some restraints on your fences, so they don’t get very far.
If you think back to times when you were scared or anxious, the best thing to do is distract yourself. Whether it’s putting on your favorite TV show or calling a friend, the same sort of thing works for your dog. You can provide your pup with an abundance of toys that they don’t know what to do with themself or you can simply play games with them. Whatever you have found is the best distraction for your dog in the past, make sure you have it ready for when the fireworks start.
Create a Safe Hiding Space
Your dog is going to want to hide, so don’t try to stop them. It may be the best thing for them to calm down until it’s over, so there’s no point getting in the way of it. A way to help is by creating a comfortable hiding space for your dog before the fireworks start and settling them in. You can choose to make it under the dining room table, under your bed, or in their crate. Either way, it’ll make things much easier for them while they’re scared.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone
If you have plans on the Fourth of July and won’t be at home with your dog, ensure that someone is there with them. If you don’t, you may come home to a huge mess from your pup trying to escape or simply from being scared. Just like people, dogs don’t like to be alone when they’re scared. Obviously, the best thing will be to stay home with them, but you should consider a sitter if this isn’t possible.
Feed and Walk Your Dog Before Fireworks
Walking your dog is essential, and many people do it after dark when there are fewer people around. However, on the night of the fireworks, you’re going to want to ensure you make the trip when it’s still light out to avoid any loud noises while you’re out. Similarly, ensure you feed your dog before the fireworks go off. When they’re scared, they aren’t going to want to eat at all, so this is a good way to make sure they’re fed.
Comfort Your Dog
Sometimes when your dog’s scared, all they need is a cuddle or to be in their "comfy place". The Buddy Bed by Toby & Ace is the perfect companion to provide your pup the comfort they deserve. The high side bolsters help mimic a den-like feeling which is naturally calming for dogs!
So there you have it, the best things to do for your dog when the fireworks are going off. It may not completely get rid of your pup’s fear, but it’ll at least make it easier. It’s only one night, but you need to put a lot of care and thought into how you’re going to prep and help your dog through the event. By the next day, they’ll love you even more, and the tail will be wagging again.