There are two things I look forward to all year. One is the beach - the sand and surf and picnics and, yes, fun! My dog, Angel, agrees.
The second is Fourth of July fireworks. I love, love, love the Rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air. I wait all year for this. Angel totally disagrees. The noise and flashes of fireworks is terrifying to most pups. You can help your dog deal with the people-style revelry.
These two things define 4th of July weekend. But with all things fun, safety is necessary. Let's look at the beach first.
1 - Beat the Heat No doubt it's going to be hot. If you are fortunate enough to belong to or know of a beach or a pool that allows dogs during summer season and you have a dog who loves the beach, go for it! But beware of the heat. We blogged 10 Tips to Beat the Heat a while back and this has become a handout pretty much through the dog world of Brooklyn. You can check it here.
2 - Dress Pup for Fireworks
There is a product called Thunder Shirt. It works on the same principle as baby swadling. As with swadling it is wonderful with about 50% of subjects and makes no difference to the rest. Purchase or make your own from a heavy t-shirt and acclimate pup. Put it on her every day for a few days before the fireworks and make happy associations with snuggles, treats and other quiet energy happy times.
3 - A Pup Drink for Fireworks Herbal destressers. We wrote recently about camomile tea. There is also a product called Rescue Remedy you can try. Again, try before hand since sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
4 - Let Pup Hide out From the Fireworks Small spaces are comforting to many dogs. This harks back to their wolf ancestry where packs lived in caves. Be it beneath your bed, in the bathtub, under a blanket, no matter where pup choses for feelings of safety let him be. Let him be until he is ready to face the world once again. Make sure the surrounding area is secure and pup can't run away. Once pup comes to face his fears he may be a bit disoriented.
5 - Create a Romantic Environment for Pup During the Fireworks. Make the environment as low-stress as possible. Think of some of the great movie seduction scenes. Obviously, leave a stressed out pup home if you are going out. Close the curtains, set the radio to soothing music, leave the lights low. You want a low sensory input environment. And do not be surprised if pup refuses even his favorite treat. These are stressful times. But leave those special treats out and available. You will know pup is coping when he, again, shows interest. It's a great pet parent barameter.
So enjoy the sun and the fun with your dog. But do it safely. And enjoy the fireworks. But know that if pup isn't big on this one there are a number of things you can do to help.