DOG / fun & fashion
Why Dogs Hate the Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is a great way to commemorate our country’s independence, celebrate with friends and enjoy great entertainment. However, this celebration might take on a different meaning for your four-legged best friend. Between the party noise, fireworks and feasting, your pet may find themselves in unfamiliar circumstances on this national holiday.
Although we're sure our pets are bursting with patriotism on the inside, they may seem stressed on the outside. It’s important to be aware of why dogs may not be the biggest fans of this holiday and what you can do as their pet parent to help them have a better time. Pet parents should also know that the 4th of July is the number one time of year that dogs run away and it’s critical that your dog has a collar with an ID tag and your contact information on it should they get scared and try to run away.
Here are some of the main considerations to remember when you’re preparing for the Fourth of July with your furry friends.
- Your Perspective - Having your friends and family gathered for the Fourth of July is fun and celebratory. Plus, if you’re hosting a party at home, your pet can enjoy extra love from your guests. Don't forget the savory foods and sweet treats for your human guests, as well as some special dog treats for your furry friends!
- Their Perspective - As your home becomes more crowded, your pets may scurry to dodge people and find open space. If you’re enjoying loud music and conversation, this may make your pets confused or stressed by the noise.
- Signs of Distress - If you notice your pet is pacing or panting, this could be a sign of stress. Keep an eye out for these behaviors as the party carries on.
- How You Can Help - Try to keep a guest-free space in your home where your pets can go. This could be a basement, spare bedroom with a comfy dog bed, or their crate where they feel safe. Once the party atmosphere quiets down a bit, you can let your pet out to explore and meet new people. It is also important to close all gates and windows, so that your pup doesn’t try to escape when they are over-stimulated. Having a microchip and identification on them is very valuable during times like this. Also, remember to tell your guests to not add to your pup’s stress by trying to rile them up.
- Your Perspective - A barbeque is a classic, all-American celebration filled with grilled foods, cold beverages and plenty of sweets. Plus, it’s a great chance to talk and enjoy yourself with friends and family.
- Their Perspective - As soon as your dog smells freshly cooked food, they might come running to be by your side, waiting for a bite. Meanwhile, well-meaning guests may also share small morsels off their plate, which means your dog can fill up quickly with things that might not be safe for them.
- Signs of Distress - Your pup may show signs of an upset stomach, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Meat bones, onions, corn on the cob and fruit are all common foods at Fourth of July gatherings, and these can pose a potential threat to dogs. Look out for lethargy as well, as this is a tell-tale sign of a sick pup. Ask your vet about what foods you need to keep your pup away from.
- How You Can Help - Keeping your pet in a safe, closed-off space or dog pen during mealtimes is a good way to eliminate temptation. Also, have tasty dog treats close by that your guests can give your pet instead of people food. Your pet can still be plenty satisfied in a way that’s safer and healthier for them.
- Your Perspective - It wouldn’t be a proper Fourth of July celebration without fireworks! And since it’s warm outside and it’s an outdoor event, you may be tempted to bring along your furry friend to share in the excitement.
- Their Perspective - Why are dogs scared of fireworks? Pets have keen hearing that makes them sensitive to noise, especially the explosive sound of fireworks. While you can relax and enjoy this display, your pet only hears loud noises that they are not usually exposed to, which may make them potentially fearful and nervous.
- Signs of Distress - You may notice that your pet is panting excessively, trembling, hiding or drooling.
- How You Can Help - You can help calm a dog scared from fireworks by guiding them into a safe space during firework celebrations, such as a closed-off room or the safety of their dog crate. You may consider closing the windows and blinds and playing soft music to create a more serene environment. There are even dog supplies like supplements that provide calming support, calming toys, special calming vests and more that help soothe your dog’s nerves.
Help Keep Your Dog Calm During the Fourth of July
Now that you know why dogs can be scared of fireworks, you’re more prepared to celebrate this holiday while caring for your furry friends. After the celebration has ended and you’ve calmed a scared dog from fireworks, it’s time for a relaxing day. Take a long walk in the woods with your pup on a dog leash as a nice activity. Your dog will be grateful for quality time with you after the bustle of the Fourth of July. If you think your dog might need extra help in preparation for all the fun, talk to your veterinarian ahead of time to discuss the best way to offer your pup some help.
Information in this article isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and isn't a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.