[Editor’s Note: This post is a litter mate with our 2018 Dog-Friendly 4th of July Events Post.]
Ah, Independence Day. The Fourth of July is no doubt one of the best days in our country’s history, but it probably isn’t your fur baby’s favorite day — for good reason.
Lucky for you and your patriotic pup, we’ve put together a list of tail-wagging tips to help you and your furry friend enjoy the most American day of the year:
• Keep your buddy safe inside. Fido + fireworks = fear, and your pup is probably less mesmerized by the sparkles, flashes, and bangs than you are. Respect your dog’s needs and boundaries.
• ID up your pup ahead of time. Whether your dog will be out at parades or only outside for potty breaks between bouts of hiding in the humans’ bathroom, their flight risk increases this time of year. Before the fun starts, be sure your pup has proper identification, microchip, and license. (If you live in Minneapolis or St Paul you can get licenses in our shop and they come with bonus perks!).
• Keep your ears up and your eyes open. According to PetAmberAlert.com, animal control services see a 30% increase in missing pets July 4th–6th. This alarming stat is mainly due to dogs being left unattended outside during loud parties and fireworks displays. If you find someone else’s lost dog, immediately follow these steps to get the furry one back to its home.
• Make a fur-baby friendly environment. During the pyrotechnical festivities, make sure your four-legged companion is in a cool environment with plenty of food and water. Ensure your dog has her usual safe space to retreat to (her crate, a favorite couch corner, or even under the bed), and then just let her be. Your pup will come out when she feels ready.
• Keep calm and carry on. Remember, dogs feed off our energy. The more you can “stay normal,” the more your pooch will carry on as his usual happy-go-lucky self. And stick to the daily routine as much as possible (walks, mealtimes, etc.).
• Use technology to your advantage. If necessary, you could consider giving your dog something to help them calm down (e.g., Benadryl, herbal remedies, and prescription medications — but always check with your vet before pursuing one of these options). You can also turn on the TV (at regular volume) or play calming music during the “Rice Crispies” portion of the day (the part with the Snap, Crackle, and Pop) to help your noise-sensitive pup feel calm and protected. Finally, you might try wrapping your shaky Schnauzer in a soothing Thunder Shirt.
• Say no to hot dogs. And we don’t mean the sizzling summer treat. Keep your dog cool and hydrated (indoors and out). And per usual, never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle.
Above all else, make sure to pay attention to your dog and address his unique needs as best as you can. However you end up spending your Fourth, give us a wag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and use #SidewalkDog to show us what you and your pup are up to!