It’s that time of the year again. We’re zeroing in on the 4th of July and F I R E W O R K S !! If your dog considers this holiday to be the absolute worst, he’s not alone.
Fireworks are the #1 cause of dogs running away from home. According to the ASPCA, July 5th is the single busiest day for dog shelters in the U.S. The sad statistic is that only 10-20% of those that make it to a shelter ever reconnect with their families!
Preventing Runaway Dogs
Last year we wrote a blog containing all the traditional things ways of preventing your dog from running away from home. These included keeping them on a leash, keeping their identification current (microchips, digital ID tags, municipality tags), securing your perimeters and conducting an effective search. To read the full blog, go to Fireworks – a Peak Time for Lost Dogs.
But today’s technology offers another innovative device worth adding to this list of preventative measures. It’s called Whistle 3, a small device that attaches to your dog’s collar. By combining cellular and GPS technologies, it allows you to track your dog down the street or as far away as 3,000 miles. We don’t make it a habit of plugging anyone’s product, but we feel the need to share anything that would prevent the separation of you from your beloved dog!
Why Are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks?
Just as humans get startled with loud, unexpected noises, dogs react the same way. The explosion sets off the sound triggers in your dog’s nervous system which makes them feel afraid. Turning and running away is a natural reaction to ensuring their survival. It’s not a sound they hear very often, so their first instinct is to find protection as far away from the loud noise as possible.
Keeping Your Dog Calm
Preparing your dog for fireworks ahead of time can be lifesaving. Here are a few tips to keep your dog calm during fireworks:
Create a Safe Zone – Whether you’re at home or going to be away, create a safe environment for your dog in the quietest area of the house. You might even consider the basement or a windowless room. Set up his dog crate with a favorite chew toy, some calming music or leave the TV on. Remove any things the dog might chew because he is anxious.
Stay Calm Yourself – Your dog plays off your emotions, so remain calm during the fireworks. Pick him up or lay next to him and hold him tight. This will make him feel more safe and secure. If your dog tends to bite during storms or fireworks, be ready with a muzzle.
Try a Thundershirt – Many have praised the positive affects they’ve seen with this tight-fitting vest. The pressure it applies makes him feel safe and secure.
Try a Natural Remedy – Some dogs find relief with essential oils. There are also many calming soft chews on the market made from natural, non-chemical ingredients such as chamomile, valerian root, L-theanine and L-tryptophan which promote relaxation and normal emotional balance during stressful events.
Medicate Your Dog – If none of the solutions above work, get in touch with your veterinarian. He or she can prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your dog to take before the fireworks begin.
Enjoy the upcoming 4th of July holiday, but be prepared so every member of the household has an enjoyable time!
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