frightened dog

The Fourth of July is supposed to be a day to relax and play, celebrating our nation’s independence. For many pets, however, fireworks play havoc with their senses. The noise and vibration sends them to find the nearest hiding place – and not to play hide n seek! If loud noises don’t play nicely with your pet, take a little time beforehand for some practical precautions and strategies – so that your whole family can have fun!

Here are some suggested rules for play:

Play it cool. When your dog starts to exhibit fear, it’s natural to want to comfort her by petting her or talking softly to her. Dogs like to be stroked and talked to, but such actions reward fearful behavior. Go about your own business – whether that’s preparing dinner or writing a business proposal.

Play something else. A fast paced game of fetch or hide and seek could distract your dog from the popping firecrackers outside.

Play the classics. Classical music can calm, soothe and distract your dog.

Play hard! July Fourth is a great day for a dog park outing, a long walk or swim. If Fido’s worn out, he might pay more attention to his favorite bed than to celebration noises.

Play house. Make your home a safe haven. Simple things like closing curtains and turning up the television or music can distract your dog from outside noises. If your pet find comfort in a kennel, make sure he has easy access.

Play clothes. 80% of pets are comforted by wearing a Thundershirt, a fearless fashion statement that applies a bit of pressure and works much the way swaddling a crying baby can soothe and calm.

Play wear. Adaptil® is available in a collar, spray or diffuser, and each product distributes a synthetic copy of pheromones, hormones released by a lactating mama dog to comfort her pups.

Play it down! Your dog’s sensitive ears can also be protected by a product called Mutt Muffs that can block some levels of noise.

Playlist. Most smart speakers and music channels have playlists designed to soothe and calm your pet. You probably are familiar with the tunes we play in the hospital’s Fear Free environment. For example, Alexa has a Calm My Dog skill. Spotify has a playlist called Relax My Dog.

Ask us to play! A fast-acting anti-anxiety medication like Sileo may be just what your uneasy underdog needs for one noisy night a year.

Everyone at Town N Country wishes you and your family a very happy, safe and playful Fourth of July. Have fun and play hard!