Here in the United States, we’re getting ready to celebrate our Independence, which is a lot of fun for humans, but often not much fun for dogs. I know that there are other times of the year in other places where some of the same problems can happen, but it’s timely for us here, so I thought I’d share a few things in time for people to act on them if they so desire. In the US, the Fourth of July is when more pets are lost than any other day of the year. The reason is pretty simple, a lot of dogs are frightened by fireworks. There are other factors that play into it, like guests over who aren’t dog savvy and humans who are more distracted than usual. We have a few ideas to help you and your dog get through the Fourth of July, or any other fireworks holiday that you might encounter.
The first one is pretty simple, but it is worth mentioning. Make sure that your dog has ID on. Even if your dog doesn’t usually wear tags or a collar, the Fourth of July and a few days leading up to it and after, is a time when having tags on makes a lot more sense than not having them on. If you’re really paranoid about having a tag on your dog, there are collars now that you can get with your phone number on them. Having your pet microchipped is also a good idea, but it means that the person who finds your dog has to have a microchip reader at their disposal. An ID tag or collar with your number on it can insure that if your dog is found by someone, you can be contacted right away.
Wearable technology is also something a lot of pet owners are coming to rely on. There are a variety of GPS trackers that you can get now and attach to your dog’s collar or harness. You may never need to use the feature of tracking your dog down with it, and I hope that you never do. Many of them also track activity on your dog as well, which might make the investment more worth it for many dog owners. It’s something to think about, and they are easy to purchase and set up.
One product that we swear by in our house is the Thundershirt. For our dogs, this has been enough to help them get through the loud noises of the fireworks, parades that go by our house and severe thunderstorms. Bunny is the only one right now who seems to need it, but it helps her a lot and I consider it money well spent. For the record, they stand behind their product and if you buy it only to find that it doesn’t work for your dog, they will give you your money back.
This year, we are also relying on the Petcube camera. We aren’t able to be home the whole time, but I want to be sure our dogs are okay. With the Petcube, not only can I check to see how they are doing, but I can get alerts if there is a lot of movement, a sign they might be upset, and check in on them. I can also talk to them and let them hear the reassurance of my voice, if need be. It’s a new tool in our arsenal to help keep up with our canine family members that helps us to keep on top of what’s going on at home. We got ours a few months ago, and I still love it.
Since we’re having fun and eating special food on the Fourth, we feel that our dogs should enjoy some good stuff, too. That doesn’t mean that we’re cooking on the grill for them. Merrick Pet Care makes it easy for our dogs to celebrate with Hero’s Banquet canned food and Backcountry raw infused kibble. They’ll also be enjoying some frozen treats that we make with frozen yogurt, too. It’s a holiday, after all, and we want it to be as fun and special for them as it can be.
Last but certainly not least, our dogs will make an appearance at our annual party, but it will be brief and they will spend most of their time ensconced in our finished basement. It’s cooler down there than any other part of our house, and it is out of the way. No matter how much you tell people, little kids and careless adults can let a dog slip out the door in a split second. It’s not worth the risk. It’s also insulated from most of the sounds of the fireworks, so while they’re watching The Secret Life of Pets, they won’t notice the sounds of the fireworks in our town as much as they would if they were upstairs. I can’t stress again how careful you need to be on this holiday. Dogs do not belong at fireworks shows and even a dog who has been fine in the past can have a bad reaction. Being safe is so much better than being sorry.
We wish everyone a festive and fun holiday. I’ve shared some things that work for us to get our dogs safely through the holiday and hopefully they will help you, too. Have fun and be safe!