Most people in the USA look forward to the 4th of July. But for many dog owners it is a day to be dreaded. If your dog is triggered by fireworks or loud noises, you probably dread the 4th. For years Steve and I lived on a lake that was fireworks central for the area and it was as stressful as you might imagine!
With some planning and a bit of preparation you can sail through the 4th with a minimum amount of stress and anxiety. Full transparency...we do not have a magic potion that melts all of your dog's fear away and has them romping around the park or lake as fireworks explode. We do offer our tried and true Relax Dog Aromatherapy which soothes the ragged edges of your dog's fear and helps calm them down enough to survive the holiday.
Preparing for the 4th
#1 Plan Ahead & Be Prepared
Determine a Designated Dog Watcher if your dog is extremely terrified of fireworks and yes, they will be dedicated to the dog for the 4th
Have treats for distraction available for the Dog Watcher and the dog
Have a tag for your dog with your current contact info on it and make sure their collar fits
Microchip your dog and/or register them with one of the many lost pet programs now available, PetHub is a good one
Be sure you have Relax Dog Aromatherapy on hand
#2 For the Day of the 4th (or Expected Fireworks)
The Designated Dog Watcher should be confirmed
Keep your dog inside the entire time frame that fireworks are going
For potty breaks, keep your dog on leash, even inside a fenced yard and make them quick
Start using Relax Dog Aromatherapy as soon as you hear the first Pop of fireworks
As the fireworks start turn the tv on, sci-fi-fi movies with special effects are good, but I am biased
Shut windows and turn on the air conditioning
Use a noisy fan for additional white noise
If your dog is used to a crate, have it available for them, but don't force them into the crate if they resist
#3 Additional Random Tips for Surviving the 4th of July
There is a reason the British had those Keep Calm and Carry-On Signs during WWII...It works. Keep calm and that energy of being relaxed and in control will move to your dog. Reassure your dog in a calm tone and keep yourself calm, too. Keep your emotions level and reassure your dog that the fireworks really will stop!
Start applying Relax Dog Aromatherapy as soon as you hear the first fireworks or 15 minutes before the scheduled start, if you have that info. Keep using Relax throughout the fireworks to help take the edge off stress for your dog.
Spray Relax on first, from ears back and allow it to settle over your dog. Spritz their bedding, the area they are in, etc. Apply Relax Roll-on as you site with them and comfort them. You don't need to focus 100% of your attention on your scared dog, that may even be a bit too much like a reward. You can sit in the same room with them and Netflix a bit, read or whatever people do that don't just Netflix/Hulu/BritBox/Acorn binge when they have some free time.
I'm not going to end this post with a cheery, "Enjoy the 4th," that would be unrealistic. Relax is not a doggie downer and will not drug your dog, but it will help calm them down enough to allow you and them to survive the 4th unscathed. And for most of us, that is enough!