July 4th — Let’s Be Careful Out There

Fireworks are great. Well, they’re not great if you have a noise-sensitive or thunder-phobic pup. Actually, sometimes they’re not great even for the most chilled-out pooch. So with the July 4th holiday coming up, we asked SHUG supporters how they deal with fireworks.

Robin -- I stay in with them and cuddle. And never let them out of the house.

Fawn -- I call the police on neighbors shooting off fireworks.

Sarah -- I take my Borzoi to a finished room in the basement, turn the TV on to the Toddler Tunes music channel, and cuddle with him on the couch.

Sheila – I give Benadryl or Xanax to help them sleep.

Beth – This is what works best for us: a Benadryl, blinds drawn, white noise machine on high, and TV turned up loud.

Sally -- Keep them inside, pull down the shades, turn on some lights. Play music on the radio or CDs. And hope they don't have any fireworks left over to shoot off on the 5th, too.

Elizabeth -- A Greyhound resort out in the country has quite a few bookings for the 4th for dogs afraid of fireworks. (Side note: Some country locations don’t have fireworks restrictions, so a trip to the country might not always be a good solution.)

Emily -- In addition to much of the above, I also do frozen Kongs with extra yummy treats inside.

Anne -- Get an RV. Go to a really strict state park that does not allow fireworks. Hide.

Wendy -- I have a sound machine that plays a soft thunderstorm as I’m trying to desensitize them. But I seriously dread it!

Rochelle -- I put mine out early for a good bit, then blast the TV in both rooms, but don't baby them.

Susan -- I make sure everyone's fed and pottied before dark. I turn on the A/C and fans and the TV louder than normal (making sure I'm not watching PBS's “Fourth of July on the Mall” special).

Louise -- Melatonin and Rescue Remedy (link) an hour before fireworks are anticipated.

Jacki -- I stay home with the blinds shut, TV loud...make sure if I feel myself tensing up, that I relax so they don't pick up on my anxiety.

Hopefully, one of these approaches will work for you. Just a reminder -- double-check your gates and fences so a startled dog doesn’t have an escape route. Be cautious when opening the front door and make sure open windows aren’t open wide enough for a frightened dog to dash through. And be especially careful on walks around this time of the year (use the slip knot!) or even skip the walk for a day.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the festivities! Happy Independence Day!

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