We have a holiday week coming up and many of you may be getting an early start on things by taking next week off. While time off, cookouts and swimming trips may be a lot of fun for you; the week of July 4th can be very stressful on your pets, especially your dogs. In my last blog post I talked about ways to keep your dog safe in the sun and heat of summer. In addition to the heat and sun of Independence Day, many dogs are afraid of fireworks. More dogs are lost around the 4th of July than any other time of the year. People leave their dogs unattended in the back yard, and when the dogs hear the explosions, they get spooked, jump the fence and run off.
Most of the dogs that are affected by the fireworks are also scared of thunderstorms. If your dog is anxious and nervous during thunderstorms, you can handle the fireworks situation in much the same way you do thunderstorms. I talked to Xalina Babunovic, an animal behaviorist at the Dog School 101 in Marietta. She said if you crate your dog during storms you should crate him when there are fireworks going off. Also if you are leaving your dog alone and it’s usually crated when you are gone, crate it when you leave. Regardless of if the dog is left crated, she advises you to leave some sort of loud background noise on, like music or the TV. The room should be kept dark as well. If you use a thundershirt, go ahead and put it on the dog. Xalina doesn’t recommend leaving the pet with the thundershirt on because if the dog get agitated it may try and get out of the shirt
If you haven’t tried a thundershirt for your pet you can find information here. I’ve also linked a video that shows how easy it is to put them on.
It’s best if you will be at home to be with your pet. Having you in the room will help put your pet at ease as well. If you’re playing with it, that may be able to keep it distracted and it won’t focus as much on the fireworks.
Another thing to remember if you are hosting a cook out and animals will be around is that you want to make sure the food is kept away from the animals, and any alcoholic beverages.
Make sure to have your pet’s chip information handy. In case it does get away, you’ll be able to identify it quickly. I know most people have plenty of pictures of their pets, but you want to make sure you have a good one that shows its face and could be used on social media or flyers around the neighborhood. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with that situation, but you must be prepared. Hopefully your preparations and responsible actions will mean a 4th of July holiday that will be enjoyed by everyone, your family, your friends, and most of all your pets. Here is a link that the ASPCA provides on things to help ensure your pets have a happy and safe 4th of July.
Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA. You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/