We may love watching fireworks and thunderstorms, but our furry friends might not be such a fan. Here are a few tips to help calm your dog during these events and keep them safe (more dogs get loose on the 4th of July than any other day of the year).
- Get your dogs outside to “do their thing” before the storm or the prime time for celebrations hit. While you’re out, get some exercise in with them. The less energy they have, the less anxiety they will have when they are scared.
- Turn on the TV and/or the radio to help drown out the outside noise. Close the drapes and blinds as well, they will also act as a sound buffer and will help minimize the light flashes.
- Distract your dog and keep them busy doing things they enjoy, playing ball, fetch, games, etc. A brand new toy will be a great incentive as well.
- Don’t soothe or “baby” your dog during the anxiety. It’s a natural response for humans but for dogs it can have the opposite effect. Be a strong foundation for them and act as though nothing is wrong, dog’s will pick up on your mood and behavior and it will help them through the tough period.
- Finally, secure everything in your house and yard to keep your pet from getting loose. Lock and secure the gates, doors, sliders, etc. You know your pet better than anyone else, so take all the precautionary steps to keep them safe and sound in your home until the anxiety has passed. If necessary, allow them to find a “safe spot” that will keep them calm until it is over (under the bed, crate, etc).
Be safe and enjoy the celebrations! Above all, if you are using a pet sitter during these events, please let them know if your dog(s) are afraid of fireworks/thunder. If they are a true professional, they will know what to do to keep your pets safe and calm.