Allison Hartlage, CTC, KPA-CTP, CBCC-KA, CNWI
Manager of Animal Training & Behavior
While many of us look forward to the 4th of July and all the festivities that come along with it, it can be one of the hardest days (weeks!) for our animals. Many animals are very frightened, if not panicked by the sound of fireworks, other loud noises and large crowds. If your animal flees, cowers, trembles, hides, stops eating, pins their ears or tucks their tail when they hear loud noises, they may need a little extra support during our Independence Day celebrations. You can read more about being your dog’s best friend here, including helpful tips on canine communication and body language signals.
Here are some tips and resources to help them feel as comfortable and safe as possible:
- Keep animals home and inside with all windows and doors closed.
- If this is your first 4th of July with your pet, if at all possible, please try to stay home with them. If you can’t be home, consider monitoring them from a camera such as a Furbo or Wyze camera. If you observe panic or distress, head home!
- Use fans, white noise machines, radios or televisions to help drown out the outside noise.
- Potty and exercise them early in the day when fireworks are less likely to be set off.
- Forgive accidents! Your dog may not feel comfortable going outside where scary, unpredictable noises abound.
- Consider a martingale-style collar to prevent your dog from panicking and backing out of their collar if a firework does go off during your early morning outing.
- Speak with your veterinarian to see if medication would be helpful and appropriate for your animal.
- Make sure your pets are wearing up-to-date identification/ID tags.
- Remember: it’s okay to comfort your dog to help them feel safe!
- Build them a safe space where they can retreat if frightened.
Animals do a great deal of communicating through body language. Are you fluent? Here are some tools to help you understand what your animal may be “telling” you: