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10 Safety Tips for Dogs During July 4th Weekend

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10 Safety Tips for Dogs During July 4th Weekend

By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dogs Ear.

July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with canines in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for their dogs. Veterinarians say that July 3rd is usually the most trafficked day in their offices, with clients coming in to get drugs for their dogs. A few years ago, I found a lost dog on the 4th of July. He was obviously a well fed, groomed, and trained dog that escaped his yard when he heard the fireworks. When I called our local Humane Society, I was informed that it is the busiest time of the year for them, as more dogs are found wandering loose on July 4th than any other day of the year in the U.S.

Ten Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household: (Please note that tips 9 and 10 require purchasing items ahead of time.)

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they cant orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.) If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Train with counter classical conditioning. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, has a very clear definition and tips here.

Next: Using sensory enrichment to calm dogs

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Read more: 4th of July, Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Holidays, Humor & Inspiration, Life, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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12:34AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Interesting article thanks!

10:35AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Thanks Lisa.

2:47AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Remember this on every 4th July

8:42AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

My dog is terrified of thunder, so he's learned just to go hide in the laundry room whenever he gets scared by loud noises, and we don't have problems with July 4 anymore. It keeps him quiet and he likes lying on our dirty laundry, probably because he can smell us. The ironic thing is, that's the safest room in the house so if we had a tornado, my dog would automatically know what to do!

3:30AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Thank you

7:40AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

Forgive me for NOT proofreading as my words are very unclear!
Rock n Roll~ I 'DANCE' holding my pets:) They all begin to play with their endless toys!
Psych, Soc, background. I also know each and ever person, place, situation, animal, etc....genetics, envirnomental, other... is VERY COMPLICATED. Stats are not worth #$%$ as you can give stats to proove your point...ALWAYS!
Thank you VERY MUCH

ZEE~ more stars....many many more! :)

7:26AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

Thank you dearly for educating people JUST HOW HORRIBLE this is to our beloved.
Short and Sweet comment is:

None of my animals have EVER been stressed over fireworks AND all the issues. As I have read lovely things people do for their pets I believe I was so BLESSED knowing my animals are so LOVED and SECURE they are unaware of..... BUT....

for almos 4 decades I stay home to reassure my sweet family
ie: my animals. I HAVE HAD MANY for almost 4 decades. They are the "babies" I was not able to have. I AM SO BLESSED KNOWING I WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT MUM {I changed the cycle of my life without even trying}.

I am NOT an Animal Activist/WARRIOR as Passionate as people here on C2 are. There is not enough time in 'my' day to be as involved in issues that bring me to tears or anger on a daily basis. Environment, Big Corporate #$%$, politics, civil and constitutanial rights, hunger, homeless, etc,etc,etc.

Ignorance of the dangers IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME.

Thank whomever listenen to my rant/errrrrr!

John S~ I understand the stats. MY ANIMALS, many throught my life LOVE HARD CORE CLASSIC ROCK! I believe it is because that was my era. The 60's. When I hear a song I LOVE I pick one up and dance. Cats, dogs, HUGE birds, etc.


PLEASE continue to share your tips FOREVER. THankXXX

10:11AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thank you for these tips. We do not have fireworks on 4 July in the UK, instead we have them on 5 Nov (to celebrate the failure of Guy Falwkes and others who attempted to blow up our Parliament) and increasingly for New Year. My current dog isn't really scared by fireworks but we keep him indoors - in honesty it is those animals such as cows and sheep that I feel really sorry for. For my part I am no fan of fireworks, not least because they release really dangerous chemicals in to the atmosphere.

4:44AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Thanks for sharing

3:25AM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

Glad I only have cats; no barking. The fat one likes to huddle between my legs when the fireworks go off.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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