The Fourth of July holiday is a lot of fun for humans, but dogs don’t always feel the same way. My dog Roxy is terrified of fireworks, and often won’t leave the house for several hours after she hears one. In addition to fireworks, other Independence Day activities can be scary—or even dangerous—for dogs. Here are a few tips for keeping your pooch healthy and happy this Fourth.
Keep dogs inside. You never know when a firework might go off nearby. When dogs are scared, they need to be in a safe, familiar place. When they do go outside, keep them on a leash and keep the outing brief. Aim for longer walks in the morning, when things are quiet. If you go out to parties or fireworks, leave your pooch at home with the air conditioning running and some calm music on.
No table scraps. It’s tempting for dogs to hang out near the barbecue grill, but many common picnic foods are dangerous to dogs—including grapes, avocado, onions and chocolate. To make sure Rover is included in the fun, try some made-for-dogs Bowser Beer or Yoghund ice cream, both available at local pet stores.
Try a calming tablet. During fireworks and thunderstorms, try a natural calming aid like NaturVet’s Quiet Moments tablets, which can help reduce mild and moderate anxiety in dogs. Of course, chat with your vet about any supplements or medications.
Keep collar and tags on. Make sure your pooch wears her collar at all times with your contact information attached. If she does get lost, check the Lost Dogs Minnesota Facebook page, a great resource with over 55,000 followers. —Keith Miller, co-owner of Bubbly Paws Dog Wash and Pampered Pooch Playground.