I know, I know. Here we are discussing the 4th of July, and it is only the middle of June. For some of you, this post may seem particularly unimpressive because you don’t live inside the USA. Bear with me. This post is less about celebrating the independence of a country, and more to do with how your dog’s are going to feel when thousands of ear piercing shrieks, booms, and thuds are coming inexplicably from outside the house. If you don’t know what it is, it sounds like you are in the middle of a war zone. That can make for some unhappy pooches!
Even if 4th of July isn’t your particular day of doggie terror, you probably have a similar day filled with fireworks and terrified animals. This post is designed for you, and the date of its release was chosen so that you have time to make preparations for your pets before this scary event. With a little prep work, your dog can feel safe and relaxed, and you can enjoy a few fireworks without wondering if you will still have a dog in the house at the end of it, or just a dog shaped hole in the side of your house. Here are a few options to get you on the road to a safe and comfortable holiday:
Make a “Safe room” in the house for your pet.
Even if your dog is normally an out door pet, holidays involving fireworks mean a dog that should be brought inside. A frightened dog can seek escape by jumping a fence or digging under it, and many dogs are permanently lost during frightening holidays. More over, your dog should be kenneled if it all possible when indoors. A kennel provides a safe and cozy place for your dog to rest, and the small nature of it mimics a den, adding to their level of comfort. If your dog often hides under the bed or a desk when he is frightened, he is attempting to construct for himself a den that gives the same secure feeling. Give him that with a kennel all his own.
If possible, put the kennel in a closed off room, and play music or the radio to help drown out the sound of the fireworks. Sometimes just having a secure and cozy place to wait it out is all your dog needs to be happy.
Consider anti-anxiety supplements to tide your dog over.
Some dogs are fine with just a kennel. Other dogs take their fearfulness to a whole new level. If you have one of those dogs, consider getting anti-anxiety medication and dosing the dog before the event. If you ask for some from the vet, be careful to ask what prescription they plan to give your dog and do your research on it. Certain medications simply make your dog unable to react to their fear—it doesn’t stop them from being afraid. In particular, reject acepromazine, as it may make the problem even worse.
Natural remedies include CBD treats, rescue remedy, and thunder-shirts. Each one has their pros and cons, and we tested all of them to see how they worked for us. Here are our preliminary results:
Worked on 2 out of 4 of our dogs. The two that it worked on, it seemed to help right away. The two that it didn’t work on, it might as well have been water. If you want to try this, make sure you get it in advance to check and see if it works on your particular pet.
These worked on all of our dogs, and frankly, we had the best outcome of all three products. The dogs were relaxed and comfortable during the fireworks, but didn’t act drugged. They simply carried about their usual activities in the house as if the fireworks weren’t whistling in every direction over the house. Particularly loud booms still caused them to jump, but then it made me jump too! That being said, we had to use different dosages for our different dogs, with the most fearful getting “CBD Max” and the least fearful getting the regular treats.
Tip: The number one complaint for these treats is that the dog won’t eat them. Mine wouldn’t either, until I melted a little cheese on top. Do what you gotta do to get this down their throats. They’ll thank you for it later! Also, if your dog really doesn’t like it consider getting the liquid form and slipping it into their food. Most dogs don’t even notice.
These worked on our dogs, comforting them in their fear, but not reducing the actual fear they felt. They tucked away in their kennels and snuggled into the shirts, waiting for the Day of Doom to be over. I did like that they did reduce the dog’s stress, but at the same time I don’t feel comfortable leaving my dogs unattended with something on their body, in case of injury.
Make sure your dogs are chipped.
This is my last tip, but also my most important one. No matter how careful you are, escape is still possible. If your dog gets lost, the first thing a person who finds it will do is take it to a vet to check for a chip. If your dog has a chip, they can get your pet back to you right away, and are less likely to keep it for themselves.
The 4th of July holiday doesn’t have to be a nightmare. All you need is a little prep work to make life easier for both you and your pet. Happy holidays!
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission for the links provided in this article. Help support Renegade Housewife just by using these links when you buy. Thank you!