Keeping Your Family Pet Calm During the 4th of July Celebration

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Greeting! Tomorrow is the 4th of July and as you may know, many cities and municipalities are having their fireworks displays tonight. Tomorrow - there will be tons of picnics and parties that probably extend through the weekend bringing the potential for a lot of fun but also a lot of dog dangers (Tomorrow - I'll give you some tips on how to prevent some of the most common dangers).


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The most common dog owner complaint during the 4th of July - is their dog reaction to fireworks. The combination of loud noises and bright lights can scare dogs that don't normally have a history of noise phobias.


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Some dogs will exhibit signs of fear that can include pacing, panting, trembling, salivating, trying to escape and/or barking. Many dogs will actually injure themselves when trying to escape (I've even seen dogs hit by a car when fleeing from noises).


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What can you do to help keep your dog calm during the fireworks?

1. Consider not taking your dog to the fireworks. Make sure he or she is calm at home. Or ... stay home with your dog during the fireworks. Keep your dog confined in a comfortable location if possible.

2. Don't try too hard to reassure your dog during a fearful event with petting, soothing words, or extra attention, as this can sometimes exacerbate the problem by reinforcing your dog's fearful response.

3. Some dogs are very sensitive to peoples' moods may be influenced by the way that you react to the noise. It is best to act happy and upbeat or to redirect your dog's attention to some absorbing activity.

4. If you must leave your dog alone - consider what would make your dog most comfortable. Bring your dog indoors, would he feel safest in a crate? And or turn on the radio/television/fan/air conditioner as ("white noise"). Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" in case he is scared during the fireworks.

Another way to keep your dog safe and well cared for is to ensure that you can do the best for him in the case of an emergency. Emergency room and veterinary visits can be expensive and can cause and difficult burden on dog lovers. This is especially true when everything seems to be so expensive these days. So... consider pet insurance. Having pet insurance will help you do the best for your dog in the case of a problem. For more information or a free quote - go to petinsurance.com.

So... before the fireworks - try to anticipate your dog's exposure to noises and avoid such exposure, if possible. Talk to your pet in a light, cheerful tone that sends a message that the storm is no big deal. Encourage your dog to find a quiet restful place to wait out the noise.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

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