Fireworks and BBQ – every American’s favorite Fourth of July celebration. Unfortunately, fireworks can be extremely scary and stressful for dogs, which means they are also stressful for dog owners. In fact, July has been recorded to have the highest number of runaway and lost dogs. In order to protect your pup this year, play it safe and prepare him for the celebration. 

Keep ID information up to date

Whether your pup is microchipped or has ID tags, make sure that the information is legible and up to date. Make sure your dog’s name, your name, and phone number or address is clearly provided. This will help to reconnect your pup with you if he happens to escape during the day’s festivities. 

Keep your pets inside

When it comes to fireworks, your dogs have no idea what is going on. They get stressed and scared and want to try to escape the noise pounding in their ears. The best thing you can do is to keep your pets inside before, during, and after the fireworks display. 

Safe proof room/crate

Taking keeping your pets inside a step further, you may want to consider either crating your dog or creating a safe, escape-proof room for them to settle in during the fireworks. This will also help to ensure that your dog is safe and cannot get outside. During fireworks, some dogs will do anything to escape, including chew through drywall, digging at doors, or jumping through windows. Some pups even self-mutilate due to the stress. By creating a safe, stress-free area for your pup to stay during the fireworks is a great idea. 

White noise

Noise machines not only help adults and babies go to sleep, but they can also help to drown out the loud noises caused by fireworks. Considering placing a white noise machine in the safe room with your dog or by the crate. If you don’t have access to a white noise machine, try playing some calming music for him. This is not the time to have a rock concert for your dog. Think more classical or jazz-something soothing for you pup’s ears. This could help keep him a little calmer during the firework show. 

Exercise

Just like humans, another great stress reliever for dogs is exercise. Make sure your dog has plenty of adequate exercise leading up to the fireworks. This could include going for a run in the morning, spending the afternoon swimming or playing fetch, and even going for an evening stroll before the fireworks start. This will help to get out a lot of energy and even tire him out, so that he can be a little more relaxed when the fireworks do start.

Anxiety Coat

Some owners swear by anxiety wraps, such as the Thundershirt. Coats and wraps, such as the Thundershirt, help to keep pets during events such as fireworks, thunderstorms, car rides, and vet visits. They are designed to apply a hugging pressure to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety within our pets. If you know your pet gets extremely anxious, especially when it comes to loud noises, it may be worth a shot to try one of these coats. 

Stay home with your pup

As much fun as it can be to watch fireworks, if you know your furry best friend is going to be a complete mess while you are away, consider foregoing the fireworks and staying home with him. Ensuring your pet’s safety is way more important than watching fireworks. Your pup will really appreciate that his best friend is there with him during this stressful time he is going through. 

BBQs/Picnics

Your dog may be used to you having family and friends over to hang out during the summer, or any other time of the year for that matter. However, make sure when it comes to the BBQ that your guests know not to feed your dog anything that could possibly make him sick. This includes ANY kind of alcohol. Another thing to keep in mind is, with people constantly coming in and out, ensure that your pet is safe in your house or yard. Keep an eye out to check that the gate is always closed and secured and that doors aren’t accidentally left open, making it easy for your pup to slip out. 

July 5-check your yard

Congratulations, your pup made it safely through the night thanks to all of your preparation! Now that all of the festivities are over, before letting your dog outside, take a few minutes to peruse your yard. Check for any trash or debris, especially any firework shrapnel that could have drifted into your yard. Clean up anything that doesn’t belong in your yard, so that when your dog does come outside he doesn’t try to eat it. 

Your dog’s safety is first and foremost your responsibility and you owe it to him to take the precautions to keep him safe. Throughout the day, remember to keep an eye out for signs that your dog is experiencing stress, such as drooling, panting, constantly licking his lips, pacing, or trying to hide. If he is displaying any of these signs, you may want to put him in his crate or safe room, for a little bit with a toy to keep him occupied and allow him to settle. 

From all of us at Kennel Key, we wish you all a very Happy Fourth of July!