Tag Archives: dogs

Helping Your Dog Through Summer Fireworks

By Kelley Kombrinck

With many areas in the US opening back up after the year-long pandemic, scores of people will be venturing back outside to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful sunshine that July brings, and bringing their beloved pets with them. For you and your dog this potentially means a Summer full of backyard barbecues, pool parties, garage sales, long walks at twilight, frisbee fetching…

And fireworks.

We all have seen what the booming, combustive sounds of fireworks can do to the nerves of even the bravest and fiercest of dogs. They cower, whine, hide, bark, shake and breathe heavily. They are, unfortunately, not privy to our understanding of celebratory explosions and so, to them, it just sounds (and looks) like the world is coming to an explosive end around them. The noise and lights trigger their fight-or-flight response and can put them in states of very distressing anxiety. No one wants to see their dog suffer like this but there is no way to turn off the fireworks that inevitably begin popping off in early July and will continue past the fourth well into the month, and even throughout the late Summer and early Fall. Thankfully, there are some ways that we can try to mitigate some of the discomfort of “Fireworks Season” for our four-legged family members.

Make Sure They Have Their ID

The first step in making sure your dog is as safe as possible, in any given situation, is to have proper identification for them. In addition to getting them registered and licensed according to your state’s regulations, you should also ensure that there is current owner, address, and phone information on their collar. Also, if possible, have them microchipped with a GPS enabled chip. If they do manage to get themselves lost or separated from you, this will give anyone who finds them the best chance to get them reunited with you as quickly as possible.

Acquaint Them with the Sounds of the Season

Another possible way to help your dog through the most intense part of Fireworks Season (right before and after July 4th being the worst) is to try and familiarize them gently with the sounds of fireworks displays. Begin a couple weeks before you expect people to start setting off their fireworks. At a low enough level for your dog not to be disturbed by them, play some video or audio of fireworks, firecrackers, and other associated sounds. Sit with them some of the time, petting them, showing them, everything is safe and ok, even with those sounds going on. This may not completely cure their anxiety, but it could help to ease their nerves some when those loud bangs and pops start going off outside.

Take Them for A Nice Walk Before the Big Show Begins

If you expect a particular evening (again, July Fourth is usually going to be the big one) to be fireworks heavy, try to take your dog out for a walk before that all begins. Letting them burn off some energy, getting them a little tired-out enjoying an activity they love with their person can put your dog in a more tranquil state when you return home.

Try to Mask the Sound of Fireworks

Another way you can try to give your special little pup some relief from the stress of fireworks is by playing something consistently soothing to counteract the noise. White noise, rain sounds, wind through trees, even soft music (some dogs really love music) can help keep your dog from being hypyerfocused on the loud, disturbing noises outside.

Take Them Somewhere With Less Noise

While this option is not available to everyone, the best way to help your dog through the worst of Fireworks Season is to take them out of it as completely as possible. Maybe your relative lives in a neighborhood where they just don’t really do fireworks, or your friend has offered you their secluded cabin at the lake for the Summer. If you can, try and utilize this to get your furry friend to a less stressful environment, at least for the loudest nights.

Stay in and Comfort Them

While all of the above suggestions might help to alleviate some of your dog’s distress during Summer fireworks, the simple truth is that many dogs are going to have to suffer through some very anxious evenings. If you can, stay in and sit with your special friend, petting them, hugging them, singing, or speaking to them softly and sweetly. Let them know you’re there with them and that everything is fine. They trust you more than anyone or anything else, and your love and attention and comfort will help get them through those beautiful, but explosive Summer nights.

For more articles on keeping your dog safe and happy, visit us over on the Pet Stop blog page!

Easy Exercise for City Canines

Living in a city can have its challenges for dog owners. Parks are not always conveniently located and backyards are usually hard to come by, but there are still many options to help you and your dog get in some daily exercise.

Below are a few easy ways to stay healthy and active with your pet in a concrete world.

Walk, Bike and Park

Although real estate is pricy in an urban area, many cities have green space dedicated for dog and community parks. This is a great way for you and your dog to both get in some exercise just by walking, playing, running, or cycling. If your dog is able to run along with you, there are unique leash hooks that can connect to a bicycle to ensure the leash does not become tangled in the wheels.

While most every dog park has a “clean up after your own pet” rule, some require your dog to have up-to-date vaccinations and a basic training and understanding of how to behave around other dogs. It’s important to know the rules beforehand so your pooch doesn’t get kicked out by accident.

Doggie Day Care

Taking your dog to day care is very similar to a human day care – your dog learns valuable social skills and benefits from daily exercise and play. The fees for day cares will vary depending on the type and level of service you require. If you’re pressed for time in the morning, many day centers can arrange to pick up your pet in the morning and drop them off later in the day.

Additional services include grooming, administering medications, basic dog training, and various types of exercise suited for indoors when bad weather doesn’t permit outdoor activities. Just as you would a human day care, feel free to visit before you decide on a specific one; you will be deciding on your dog’s care and well-being.

Dog Walking Professionals

If you live in an urban area, chances are you’ve seen a dog walker or two already. Many pet owners opt for this route because they work during the day and don’t have anyone else that can take their pet for a walk during those hours. Dog walkers take groups of three or more at a time so it’s vital your dog has been trained in proper social behavior with other dogs and most professional walkers will require this before they agree to walk your pet.

Many walkers also offer additional services like play time, training or taking your dog to the park. As this person would be spending daily time with your pet, be sure to let your dog meet them first and ask any necessary questions. Be sure to ask any questions you have on credentials or special requirements such as administering medications.

Finding the Best Option for you and your Dog

To find the best solution for you and your pet, consider asking your veterinarian or research your area online for options. Many pet owners have online community based groups that can offer you tips and recommendations for what has worked with them.