4th of July, it's a big holiday for us! Barbecues, picnics, beach time all topped by fireworks, glorious fireworks.But for our 4-legged friends, not so much. How do we explain to our pup, yes, the one who is cowering under the bed shaking so hard you can hear the floor creak, that the noise and the burst of light are, ummmm, fun?Pups and kitties just don't get it. And we have no way to explain.
FACT: The number one day for runaway dogs is, you guessed it, 4th of July. They get spooked and break their leash or slip their collar and bolt. Humane Societies and shelters often stay open late on 4th of July just for that reason as people bring in trembling pups, with and without collars and tags. July 5th is the busiest day for shelters in the calendar year and there is a 30% increase in dogs being brought in between July 4th-6th.
Fireworks Show Times
Macys: 9:20 PM - This year's will be launched from the lower east river near the Brooklyn Bridge.
Coney Island: 9:30 PM
Neighborhood Amateurs - super illegal and really annoying for those of us with pets! You know it, we know it, it goes all night long! So...let's get prepared!
Our 8 Tips to Keep your Pup Safe and Calm
Don't be caught dealing with a stressed out dog last minute. Preparing your dog throughout the day for a night of 'boomies' can make a world of difference
- Tags, Chips and ID's Does your pup normally go 'nude' when not on a walk? Not today. All pups and kitties should don their identification both indoors and of course, outside. ID tags should be on a collar that you do not clip your lead to. This way, should they break away from you, their identification remains on them. Also, we use this holiday each year as a benchmark for checking to be sure our own pups microchips have up-to-date contact info. Kind of how you change the batteries in your smoke alarms when you change the clocks. If your dog is not microchipped yet, talk to your vet about getting that done this week.
- Exercise! Get your peanut nice and tired out with extra exercise and play. A tired out pup will be more calm. If you normally do off leash in the evenings, this is obviously not the night for it. Try a morning off leash session and a nice long fast paced walk (or run) around 6:00-7:00 PM. Maybe a wicked game of indoor fetch or some zoomies around 8:00 PM just as the sun is starting to set.
- Feeding and Water Be sure that your pup and kitty get a nice meal in before the sun starts to go down. Remember that some of our neighbors like to partake in launching their own fireworks (very illegal). Keep that in mind
- Prepare a Playlist - is your dog unfazed when you jack up the base on a normal day? If so, get a play list ready for your pup. If funk and metal are not up your dogs alley, perhaps a loud movie on a loop. Again, only if your dog is okay with this type of noise. If your pup runs and hides when you go on an Avengers binge, this won't work for them. There are plenty of 'calming music for dogs' playlists out there. They aren't as good at covering up the noise but might bring a bit of soothing to them.
- Get their 'Fireworks Fort' ready - Find a nice spot in your home to create a comfy den. This should be a place free of visual stimulation. Bathrooms work great or large closets. Get fido's fort decked out and ready with their bed or a nice comfy blanket, their favorite toy or snuggle object and a bowl of water. Leave the door or the area accessible to them throughout the day. Use treats to condition them positively to the space. If you'r pup needs to be put on lock down in a crate, for their own safety, place a blanket over the top of the crate and include comfort items in there as well.
- Dog Anxiety Vest/Wrap- Compression wraps work great for some pets and not at all for others. These vests work by applying gentle pressure around your pets torso which should, bring them some relief. If you haven't tried this before, it's a fantastic option and it's drug free. Our favorite is the Thundershirt. They are currently celebrating their 10th anniversary and you can use the code 10YEARSOFCALM to get 25% off!
- Be calm As you're setting up their little den and when you're preparing to leave, act as if nothing special is going on. It's not the time to give extra hugs and linger at the door telling them they'll be ok. Maintaining a calm energy and showing that you're not concerned will go a long way. Remember, your dog is like an antenna, they'll pick up whatever you're putting out there!
- Leave your pup at home - Really, even if you've brought your pup to the fireworks in the past, It's not worth the possibility of them getting away from you. Let them stay at home in their safe space, draw the shades, close the curtains and don't risk them becoming one of the statistics.
Bonus Doggie Zen Tips to Discuss with your Vet
CBD has shown tremendous success in treating anxiety in pups. Again, we recommend a quick chat with your vet who might be a good source of a high quality product and will certainly be able to help you calculate an approximately does. You will want to adjust the dose to the size of your dog, approximately 0.5 mg/lb body weight (which is why the oil is better than the treats; you can adjust the dose more easily). Be sure you have a high quality, organic CBD. Our own our Chief Barketing Officer, Murphy, uses hemp oil from https://petreleaf.com/ with fantastic success the last two years. Side note, Murphy uses it for thunderstorms as well! There are other great brands out there, but do your research and talk to your vet.
Benadryl makes pups as sleepy as it makes us. Some schools of thought are, if your sleepy you're not stressed! For dogs, the dosage is calculated the same way as it is with people, 1-2 mg/lb. Your vet or your pharmacist can help you with calculations if you are unsure of your math. Be sure you give pure Benadryl, not mixed with caffeine or any other additives and always discuss with your vet before administering.
We're Filling up Fast for the Holiday
If you're headed out of town or if you just need that extra walk while you're at a picnic, we're here to help! We are filling up fast though so be sure to request your visits, boardings or sleepovers today!
Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July!