More pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of the year. The reason is simple – fireworks cause sudden, random bangs that can spook even the toughest of pups. While thunder is accompanied by changes in barometric pressure and temperature that dogs can clearly sense, patriotic displays come without warning. No wonder so many petrified pups head for the hills!
Independence Day mishaps also arise when dogs indulge in too many festive munchies like BBQ and decadent desserts. Whether you’re guilty of sharing or you have a sneaky hound on your hands, tasty goodies can lead to disaster. Veterinarians have come to expect and plan ahead for surges in doggy digestion dilemmas after major holidays – don’t let your pupper become a statistic!
Luckily there are several ways to reduce the stress and risk to your pup this year. While we can’t promise to have your dog sporting a stars and stripes muscle tee and a paw full of sparklers this July 4th, we can offer some helpful tips, as well as products to help make this day a bit less traumatic.
1. Calming Treats, $10
With their delicious taste and cute fishy shape, your pup will never know you’ve slipped him a Ruff-y! The chewy supplements created by Pet Naturals of Vermont actually contain no drugs. The soothing holistic complex consists of Thiamine, L-Theonine and Colostrum Calming Complex which is released in mother’s milk to provide comfort to nursing puppies. Just a little something to take the edge off!
2. Snuggle Sack, $16 – $48
“A hot bath and a glass or red wine, but for dogs!”
Have you ever noticed that your pup likes to cram himself into small corners and crevasses when spooked? Some dogs seek out enclosed spaces when nervous like a familiar crate or a hooman-smelling closet. If your dog is a hider when frightened, this cozy snuggle sack is just the thing! Your pooch can bury his head in fur-framed luxury until the firework finale passes.
Sometimes anxious pups just need an activity to focus their nervous energy on instead of the fearful stimuli. Cognitive toys are perfect for brainy dogs with a “meat tooth”. Just pop in a few favorite treats and watch as your witty pooch solves the puzzle. The Treat Maze comes with a bag of healthy, made in the USA Bison Treats that are sure to take any pup’s mind off the shenanigans in the sky this 4th!
4. Laguna Reflective Harness, $33 – $40
Although it’s best to keep frightened pets safely inside the home when the terrifying color bombs (aka: fireworks) fill the sky, a pup’s gotta poop! When it comes time for a July 4th potty break, make sure your dog’s duds are the safest they can be. The Laguna harness is soft yet strong and features reflective strips so party goers can spot you guys coming. For even more night-time safety, check out Shine for Dogs Rechargeable LED collars and leads.
5. ID Tags, Prices Vary
The good old fashioned dog tag is kind of like the “first line of defense” should a pooch go missing. With so many cool, creative styles out there to choose from there’s no excuse not to tag your pup. But remember, tags are by no means foolproof. My pups like to go au naturale in the evenings. A tag attached to a harness isn’t going to do a naked pupper much good. Even if your dog does get lost while clothed, tags can easily catch on a fence or branch and be yanked off.
6. Adaptil Collar, $15 – $25 from licensed vets and authorized dealers
Adaptil collars are another drug-free, natural solution to fear and stress in dogs. Soothing pheromones in the collar are released in response your dog’s body temperature. Pheromones provide social cues and help animals determine how to behave in different situations. The Adaptil collar mimics the pheromone released by mother dogs from their mammary region. Its presence gives puppies a feeling of safety and security – and can sooth your grown up pup, too!
7. Thunder Shirt, $39.95 – $44.95
Putting a Thunder Shirt on your pup is similar to swaddling an infant – it helps provide a sense of security and safety. Veterinarians, owners and scientists have reported a greater than 80% success rate in helping to sooth anxious pets. Best of all, the Thunder Shirt is drug-free and requires no training on your part. Just put it on your pooch and watch the worries fade away! Check out BarkPost office tri-pawd, Ricky’s Thunder Shirt success story!
8. Medications, Prices Vary
Some dogs just need something with a little more “oomph”. When training techniques and natural supplements still leave your pup frazzled during a stressful event, trying anti-anxiety meds is a logical next step. Benadryl is normally quite safe and can have a soothing, sedative effect. Your vet can provide a dosage if he or she feels it may help your pooch. Stronger medications can also be prescribed by your veterinarian as needed. Some are intended for use only during stressful situations like storms and fireworks. Others are used daily to reduce more generalized or frequent anxiety.
9. Microchip, Prices Vary
Microchip technology has come a long way in recent years. Microchipped dogs have a 30% greater chance of returning home if lost than dogs without an ID chip. The process of implanting the chip is fast, easy and cost effective, with average prices ranging from $20 – $50. Just as important as getting the chip is making sure to keep your contact information updated with the registration company! You don’t want some kind soul to locate your missing BFF only to find that you’ve moved and changed your number!
10. Buns of Anarchy $18
This one goes out to all you pushover pawrents who give in to those puppy dog eyes every meal time! Typical Independence Day foods like burgers and hot dogs can make your pooch, well, sick as a dog. Be sure to keep all snacks well out of reach of prying paws, and give your furry pal this cute, stuffed squeaky hamburger toy instead. Coolest of all, each piece comes apart so your pup can build and stack his own slider!
Featured Image via @Lilikoi_Rella/Instagram