Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

Keep 'em Safe While You Celebrate

by Kris Phillips

Every 5th of July our local shelters are overrun by hundreds of dogs & cats who got spooked by Independence Day celebrating and find themselves lost and afraid. The good news is a few simple steps will keep them safe and ensure you can enjoy the festivities.

  • Double check that your dogs tags & microchip information are up to date
    • Hopefully, if they do make a break for it someone will reunite you by the time the last sparkler dies out
    • There’s nothing more frustrating to rescuers than calling a phone number listed on a tag or microchip only to find it’s been disconnected
  • Keep them inside
    • The more inside the better. IF your pet is particularly afraid consider either crating them or closing them in a walk-in closet.
    • Not only will an interior room help dampen the fireworks but will give them added security
  • Thunder Shirts work wonders
    • A thunder shirt is a snug fitting jacket which utilizes pressure points to calm pets, like swaddling a baby
    • This is a product you can find online and at most pet retailers
    • It’s a drug free option
  • Leave the TV or radio on
    • Most pets are used to the sounds of a TV or Radio so fireworks might not be so alarming as they would be in a silent house
    • If it’s a little on the loud side the background noise will help drown out the booming fireworks
    • RelaxMyDog it an awesome streaming service with music designed to get your dogs attention.
  • Consider essential oils
    • Don’t feed your pet essential oils
    • Don’t apply essential oils directly on your pet
    • Use a diffuser or spray in the room with your pet
    • Lavender, Valerian, Ylang Ylang are just a few options that may help calm your dog’s anxiety
    • It’s a good idea to watch your pet for a while the first time you use a new product
  • Medication
    • If your dog has extreme anxiety talk to your vet about possible medication options
    • Do yourself a favor and have this conversation well in advance of the 4th.
    •  Some people find even something as simple as benadryl can be enough of a sedative
    • Be sure to consult your vet for proper dosage before giving your dog any medication

Our dogs may never appreciate the appeal of watching lights explode in the sky, but with a little preparation we can get them through the experience unphased.

Wishing you a Beautiful & Joyous Independence Day!!!

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