Hey Mofo Friends!
What can I do about my dogs fear of fireworks?
The 4th of July is coming and we have so much to be grateful for and celebrate! Sadly, our dogs don't understand what all that noise is about. It's scary!
The ASPCA does a campaign every year reminding folks July 4th is the top day of the year for lost and runaway pets.
Don't lose your best friend. Here are my top tips to get your dog safely through the 4th. Use these tips along with good common sense. Be proactive. It is your job to keep your dog safe.
- Make sure your dog is exhausted!
A tired dog is a calm dog. On the days you expect lots of evening noise go on a walk together. Play fetch or tug. Do some mental games and exercises. Practice your obedience commands.
- Use the buddy system!
Go outside with your dog on potty breaks. Supervising outdoors greatly reduces the chance of them bolting through a loose fence post or escaping some other way. Walk them on a leash if you think them running away is even a remote possibility.
- Get (or make) a compression shirt.
Like weighted blankets for humans and swaddling for babies, compression shirts (also known as thundershirts) can relieve anxiety in some dogs. They are available in all pet-serving retail outlets. We also have DIY from an old tshirt directions here.
- Account for noises from crowds and fireworks!
If you leave your dog alone, put them in a crate. Play some awesome music, loud enough to drown out the outside noises. Recognize that when you come home they might still be freaked out.
- Have a backup plan!
If they do get loose make sure they can get back home. Confirm they have a collar with an easy-to-read name and phone number. Consider getting your dog a microchip.
I know you love your dog or you would be watching dancing cat videos instead of reading this. Look at the fireworks from your dog's perspective and be mindful.
Happy 4th everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day full of love, kindness, and gratitude. Stay safe!
Everything is awesome. Now go walk your mofo 🙂
There are no “bad” dogs, just mofos with problems. Problems generally have solutions, and I’ve encountered them all. For more practical and professional help on mofo issues from A to Z check out my Basic Training course.