One of the “members” of our family is our German Shepherd, Patience.
She is much larger today than when this picture was taken, but I am not sure that she is aware of that fact. What has not changed for her though is her fear and anxiety surrounding fireworks. Perhaps you have a pet like Patience who, when the Independence Day holiday comes around, spends many hours shaking and hiding.
I am not a dog trainer and have not yet figured out the best way to help Patience with this, but I did just read a list of helpful hints that I wanted to pass on to you all. Five items from that list are below:
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.
- Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea.
- Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.) If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.
- If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate or lowering the blinds can also be helpful. Removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs.
- Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.
You can read the full list on the blog here.
Have a safe and wonderful Independence Day with your family and pets!