Tips for the Fourth
The Fourth of July is almost upon us, this is a time in the United States of celebration with food, good company and of course... fireworks. The spectacle of fireworks is always beautiful for us humans, but not always so for our canine friends.
The fear of fireworks and thunder often lead to reactions in dogs, ranging from milder symptoms like cowering, pacing or whining to more severe reactions like potty accidents, tearing up their kennel, or other furniture to vomiting. Noise phobia is unfortunately a common issue and can have serious consequences, from the things I've mentioned above to worse - your dog gets out and goes missing. A nightmare for any pet parent.
Here are some tips to help you during this time of the year:
Take a recent picture of your dog.
In case the worse does happen and your pup gets out, you want to make sure you have a recent picture ready to share with your local pet organizations (trainers, groomers, veterinarians, etc.) to find your pup quickly. The quicker they're found, the safer they'll be. Of course it also will give us a huge sigh of relief.
Microchip your best friend.
Having a microchip is important because it is something your pup cannot lose like a collar. Make sure you have this updated every time you move/change your phone number. If you can't remember when you last updated your microchip be sure to contact your manufacturer to do so. Most can do this on their websites. If Bella doesn't already have a microchip, visit your Veterinarian and get one. It only takes a couple of seconds to implant, and a couple minutes (if that) to give your information! Those 5 minutes could be your best friend's life.
Burn off some energy.
Before the fireworks even think about starting, exercise your dog both physically and mentally. A tired dog is a tired dog, and when you've had a long day you can sleep through anything. To help your dog sleep you should keep your curtains closed, or have your pup in his kennel with some music if you're leaving. Thunder shirts have been known to help pups with noise phobias as well.
Stay home with your pup, pop on that music, and play with some fun squeaky toys (we love the wubbas!) to distract him during the outside festivities. Be observant of anything that alerts him, give treats if he recovers quickly, and goes back to playing with you to help encourage confidence.
It's okay to use supplements.
If you need a little extra help, these Veterinarian approved supplements have great reviews. I've seen them in action at the vets and they help! Remember, these need to be used before the event starts (this brand also sells treats for cats).
Like I already mentioned record any behaviors, or at least make notes of the behaviors your dog shows during the fireworks. This will help you and your Trainer during the off season, so your pup can gain more confidence and the scariness will subside in the future.
Use an interactive toy
You'll have the best luck with these if you start using it slightly before the fireworks begin. It will also help if you use some stinky treats instead of their dog food, this will peak their curiosity more and they're more likely to give this their attention instead of the scary noises outside. More information on interactive bowls here.
Stay safe, and have a wonderful Fourth of July!
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