If your dog knew the 4th of July was coming up this weekend like we do, he might not be sleeping so peacefully right now. Yes, July 4th is filled with fireworks-which can lead to stress, anxiety and misery for our little best friends. To help ease their nerves, I’m here to share with you all of my tips that will keep the tension low in the house, when the festive fireworks start to sound.
The basics. Let’s start with the basics. If you have an outdoor dog, you really might want to consider bringing him in during the firework festivities. Frightened dogs are known to run away, and even dig holes and hurt themselves, in an attempt to escape the stress. While it might seem like an inconvenience, having the dog in the house for a night is much less stressful than heartbreak from a lost dog. Next, you’ll want to shut all doors, windows and curtains so your dog can’t see the lights that could exacerbate his fear of the booming noise. And, lastly, stay calm. The main key in calming your pet is to stay calm yourself, so try to stay relaxed, calm, and normal, and pretend it’s no different than any other day.
Create a safe place. This is crucial to help your pup feel safe. They want to be in small, confined areas when scared, so consider carving out space in a closet, under a table, under the bed, or even in a walk-in shower. Place their dog bed and blanket in the space to make them as comfortable as possible. Rather than coaxing him out to comfort him, go sit with him, and be in the space with him every now and then. Pulling him out of it can possibly cause more stress, upsetting him further.
Block the noise. We are so lucky to live in a time when dog products are plentiful and readily available to us, with just the click of a button. To help muffle the noise, consider buying the highly popular Through A Dog’s Ear: Music To Calm Your Canine Companion ($14.98). It’s no surprise that it’s popular with dog owners because it has been proven to calm dogs up to 85%! Also, consider just turning on the radio or tv. If you choose tv, make sure it’s a show that’s loud enough to camouflage the sound, but refrain from programs that have their own booming noises. Another option is to use Mutt Muffs ($61.75) to reduce the shock of loud noises, such as fireworks.
Positive conditioning. While many dogs won’t eat while they’re feeling fearful, try feeding your dog their favorite treat when a loud noise occurs. It will give him at least the idea of a positive association with the noise of which they’re fearful.
Calm them. Calming collars are excellent ways to calm your dogs in stressful times. These collar diffusers diffuse all natural, soothing oils to help calm dogs not only in times of fireworks, but in other stressful times, as well. When you first put it on your dog, do it when they are calm and in a state of rest, so they’ll learn that the scent is associated with being calm.