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Most Dogs Hate July 4th. Here’s How to Help That.

Most Dogs Hate July 4th. Here’s How to Help That.

July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with dogs in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for them. 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.

Last week, I was invited by Pet360 to be part of a Google hangout panel discussion with a veterinarian and dog trainer called:
“Help Your Pet Survive Fireworks and Summer Thunderstorms.” You can catch me personally at 6 minutes and 45 seconds into it. Sanchez and Gina are, of course, hanging out with me by the piano in my living room. Below are some of the tips discussed.

Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your canine household:

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 itís 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 canít 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. Keep the curtains closed, and if possible, also the windows.

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 Ė like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Sound Therapy: Through a Dog’s Ear is specially designed classical music clinically demonstrated to calm canine anxiety issues. The Calm your Canine series has even replaced drugs for thousands of dogs on July 4th. Downloads are available here.

8. Desensitization combined with Sound Therapy: The Canine Noise Phobia series includes the above mentioned music along with progressive sounds of fireworks and positive reinforcement training protocol by Victoria Stilwell.

Wishing you and your canine and feline households a safe holiday. How have they reacted to fireworks in previous years? Thanks for sharing ways that you’ve made it easier for Fido and Fluffy.


Delivering Calm, four paws at a timeÖ

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dogís Ear newsletter and/or Lisaís Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Read more: 4th of July, Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Holidays, Life, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, Safety, , , , , , ,

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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.


+ add your own
9:52PM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

Mine fight for my lap !!!!

5:46AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

I also hate July 4th: It scares my dog and cats and wildlife, and it is just an excuse for morons to play with explosives.

10:25AM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

My boy loses his mind. I do all of the suggestions listed. Storms are just as bad. Maybe they know something we don't. Keep your pets leashed and in check. I have 2 neighbors that both lost their dogs by just letting them out to do their business and a cracker pops and they both went rouge. Neither have been found by their owners or the neighborhood. Very sad.

2:35PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Great ideas on this issue.
Another idea that I have found useful is to wait with the dogs dinner time until
the fireworks start.
Instead of feeding them with a bowl of food, I get extra good food ( chicken, steak,
cheese ) anything they absolutely love, and we have a party!
As the booms start sounding, I turn on music and hand feed all of them.
Works like a charm!
It is our unique 4th of July way to celebrate!

1:55PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014


7:01AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

5:05AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

perfect!!!Thank you.

4:35PM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

After talking to other pet owners.

We're going to get Lucy a thunder shirt.

10:38AM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

Cats hate fireworks too. Not much anyone can do about it but hope that the fireworks cost a fortune so that only a few can be purchased.

10:09PM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

I have small animals but when my dog was a puppy,I used to swaddle her like a baby. Most important was covering her head with the blanket.It brought almost instant quiet. It was pure instinct. But it always worked.

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