8 Tips for Keeping your Dogs Calm on July 4th

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July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with canines in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for their dogs. Veterinarians say that July 3rd is usually the most trafficked day in their offices, with clients coming in to get drugs for their dogs. Last year, I found a lost dog on the 4th of July. He was obviously a well fed, well groomed, and well behaved dog that escaped his yard when he heard the fireworks. When I called our local Humane Society, I was informed that it is the busiest time of the year for them, as more dogs are found wandering loose on July 4th than any other day of the year in the U.S.

Eight Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it's hot, air conditioning will help.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.)

4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Train with counter classical conditioning. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, has a very clear definition and tips here.

8. Sound Therapy: Play Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1, 2, and 3. It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already peaceful and relaxed. He will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to be effective as it has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Click here for free samples and downloads. Click here to purchase our July 4th Prep-Pak.  Last year, I received a heart warming email from a woman who told me that it was the first 4th of July that she didn’t need to drug her dog, thanks to the music of Through a Dog’s Ear. On previous years, he had jumped out of windows. She said, “It was like Dog Ambien! Dambien!” Read the full story

Comments

If your dog does require medication, here's a great link on why Ace Promazine should NOT be used for fearful dogs. It also recommends drugs that are helpful.

http://fearfuldogs.com/acearticle.html

If you have air conditioning (if it's very hot out), be sure the windows are closed in the room your dog is in. Last year I got a loud action movie (my dog doesn't care about those noises) to play and watch with my dogs. Only one of them can't stand the sound of fireworks. No one in the room (besides me) knew what was going on.

If you live in an area like I do where things a little lax, your neighbors may be having illegal fireworks displays on days that aren't the fourth. So watch out for those as well.

Maurice Peaches
All Good Doggies

My last dog, I took too the fireworks the first year when he was a puppy. I shoved food down his mouth the entire time. Needless to say, the next time, and any time he heard fireworks, he thought they were great. I continued taking him sometimes, and he always had a good time. We also have lots of people who do illegal stuff, and smaller legal stuff, all summer long, including myself. He always stayed out with us when we did it.

I have found that if an owner wants to take their fearful dog to fireworks and participate, the safest way (so you aren't taken off guard by the illegal ones) is to start with a tape or find sounds of a thunderstorm on the computer, if you are going to use treats.

You can actually find all sorts of noises by searching the computer, that dogs may be reactive to or afraid of. (fire alarms, doorbells, those beeps that wheel chairs or trucks make when backing up, barking dogs, animal noises, cars driving,)

Maurice Peaches
All Good Doggies

In anticipation of the fireworks tonight, I'm making special treats (the stinkiest kind!) so they can get a whiff of wonderful things, get a taste throughout the day and hit the jackpot when the noise starts this evening.

Happy Canada Day! everyone.

Donna
Put a springer in your step!

Hope that works for you. A client did that once (not under my advice), and their dog took off and wasn't found for days. So be sure you have your dog leashed up on a collar that won't slip off over their ears.

It was a very harrowing couple of days for them:( Your dog won't get the jackpot if they end up taking off in a panic.

Maurice Peaches
All Good Doggies

Maurice/Brian

I'm sure they'll enjoy the training right up to the jackpot. But I'll let you know.. doors will be closed and the gates are double-locked. Their safety is of upmost importance and right now, they are enjoying all the day's celebrations in my good care.

Donna
Put a springer in your step!

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