The 4th of July is upon us, time for fun filled BBQ's with friends and family, chillin' by the pool (if you are one of the lucky ones :), with a cold beverage in hand, enjoying the fireworks synchronized to music.
Have you thought about what your dogs think about the fireworks? Loud, scary, unpredictable, flashes of light in the sky. They are just not something they encounter on a daily basis, so desensitizing or counter conditioning a negative response can be challenging. This leads me to the question....have you thought about what you are going to do with your pets during this time?
We all like to THINK we are prepared, I can say that with some authority. Let me share a story with you from about 20 years ago. At the time we had two rotties Maddy and Voughton. They were in the house secure....or so we thought. This was before children, and lets be honest, we didn't have too many rules back then. I should mention that we live just a few miles, as the crow flies, from our local High School, which is where the fireworks are set off.
We were off to a friends BBQ, and put the dogs in the house and didn't think twice about it. Sadly what we came home to was clearly a panic situation....both dogs GONE! We found the window screen busted out and no dogs in site. At the time we only had one 5ft exterior fence around our property (these days it is Fort Knox). We spent HOURS looking for our beloved dogs, and I am sure you can imagine we were beside ourselves with guilt. The saving grace was that we always keep collars and tags on them. We ended up getting a call around midnight from a neighbor two doors down....what I forgot to mention is that the properties around us are 1-2 acres...both dogs were in their back yard acting very scared and not happy with the people that were trying to help them.
The point to sharing this is, we are all human and we make mistakes, BUT we can set ourselves up for success with the right knowledge and tools at hand!
These days the 4th of July looks a bit different in our home. We still go out, because having dogs is not an auto "must stay home" ticket. Here are some tips to help set your dog up for success tomorrow whether you are home or not.
Crates - if you will be leaving, I highly recommend the use of a crate. This will contain your dog if they get scared and keep them from bolting out of windows, doors ect.
Music / TV / Fan - turn on the noise. This will help deaden the sounds of the fireworks outside. If you are so close that the house could shake, place a fan on top of the crate, this creates a small vibration that can be soothing to your pup (test this one ahead of time).
Close the Windows - time to turn on the air if needed. Close up the house tight, you do not want to be in the situation that I was in all those years ago.
doTERRA Essential Oils - for all my oil loving friends, now is the time to fire up your diffuser! Choose your pups favorite calming oil and have the diffuser running multiple hours PRIOR to the start of the festivities. My choice oils would be Vetiver, Serenity, Balance, Frankincense, and Copaiba. If you do not have a diffuser, an open bottle placed outside of the crate door is a great option. You can also put a drop on bedding, and/or apply topically to rear pads (only if dog is previously acclimated). NOTE: if you pup is not used to the use of EO's in the home, you need to acclimate them to the use before using them for an event such as this. If you need help with acclimation tips, make sure to visit my page: https://www.pawsitiveprinciples.com/acclimation-safety
Need to purchase oils? We have a great promo and you can earn a FREE Wild Orange and Copiaba from July 1st -July 31st. Contact me for details!
ThunderShirt or Wrap - a ThunderShirt is a great tool, it works by applying pressure around your dog, much like swaddling an infant. It is great to use for over excitement, fear, and anxiety. You can also put a drop of your choice calming oil on it for extra support. You can check it out via our Amazon Store here: https://amzn.to/2tQeOqK
Now some will want to take your pups with you to that friends BBQ to watch the fireworks. If this is the case, please, please, please make sure that you are prepared to take your pup inside, leave the party ect if that is what is needed for their best security.
The 4th of July tops the charts for the most dogs being displaced or killed. It is our job to ensure that they stay safe.
What tips do you have for your own pups? Join the discussion on our FB page, we would love to hear from you!