The Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner and families of all sizes will be celebrating with music, fireworks, and having cookouts or parties. Although people love this holiday their pets often do not. It’s scary for an animal to hear loud noises and see unusual sights and because of this they can get really anxious, frightened, stressed out, and even display signs of sickness such as vomiting and diarrhea. Here is an overview of different ways to help your dog remain calm and prevent stress this Fourth of July holiday.
How to prevent stress: Massage
Spending some quality alone time with your dog an hour prior to the fireworks display will promote a sense of security in him. Instead of playing with toys or running around give your dog a gentle massage starting at his head and working down to the bottom of his feet. This will relax him and create a sense of peace. Note: Running a brush through the dog’s fur is also an option.
How to prevent stress: Exercise
If you would rather have your dog exercise, encourage him to do so about 2 hours prior to the fireworks display. I suggest visiting a dog park or taking a longer than usual walk around the neighborhood; anything that will help him burn off some energy and make him want to take a nap.
How to prevent stress: Create a Peaceful Atmosphere
Because Fourth of July is such a noisy holiday you want to create an atmosphere that is peaceful which will prevent stress. Gather a couple of items such as a special blanket and the dog’s bed and place them in a sheltered and quiet room. Turn on the radio or play a CD that has relaxing music such as classical, soft jazz, or any genre that will have a calming effect.
How to prevent stress: Distractions
In addition to creating a peaceful atmosphere offer your dog things that will cause a distraction. Items such as a rawhide bone or a chew toy will cause him to focus his attention on the item rather than the noise.
How to prevent stress: No Attendance
Although watching a fireworks display is great fun for the whole family, dogs should never be allowed to attend. It is too loud and chaotic and will ultimately cause the dog to have an enormous amount of anxiety.
How to prevent stress: Use a Babysitter
Not everyone lives in an area where firework displays take place. If you have a friend or family member that lives in one of those areas ask them to babysit your dog for a few hours. Not only will this prevent stress it will also give you the opportunity to watch a display without having to worry about him.
How to prevent stress: Reassurance
After all of the Fourth of July activities are over spend some time with your dog by playing or doing any other activity that he enjoys. Doing so will reassure him that everything is ok. Fourth of July is such a fun family holiday but no one wants to see their pet feeling frightened or anxious. Try one or all of these ideas to help your dog relax and to prevent as much stress as possible.