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SmartyPup! is a puppy training school located in San Francisco, California

4th of July

Preparing Your Dog For The 4th of July - Every Fourth of July your dog is at risk!


Fourth of the July is typically the busiest time of year at Animal Care and Control.  Dogs try to escape from fear of the noise or come loose from their collars. Just because your dog has never reacted to fireworks in the past, does not mean he will not do so this. Noise phobias can happen at any time in a dog’s life. Every 4th of July your dog is at risk!


The Fourth of July is almost here.

Did you know that  "It's OK To Comfort Your Dogread more...

The entire week leading up to the 4th the noisiness is already in evidence. Help your dog and get ready today! Start with a good dose of homeopathy, giving the same medicine at a different volume so that Fido responds with less excitability, like “start playing music like Star Wars LOUD all day long so that your dog forgets he might be afraid of the bottle rocket outside the window” approach.

Don't take your dog to places where there may be fireworks, or people with firecrackers.

Take your dog for his evening walk before the fireworks begin.

Keep your pet indoors as much as possible on the 4th. Confine him in a quiet, sheltered area of the house, preferably a room that's protected from outside sounds. Shut the windows and close the blinds or curtains.

Turn on a TV or radio, to drown out the noise of fireworks: Play music and play it loudly…Mozart, Star Wars,  the television, whatever it takes to soften or better drown out the scary end-of-the-world noises. (If you were a dog wouldn’t you assume the end of the world was nigh? I would.)

Use (1) confinement, and (2) auditory stimulation.

Stay home with your dog, especially at night, when fireworks get going. Distract and engage your pet by playing games with his favorite toys.

If you can't stay home to keep an eye on your pet, take extra precautions to keep him safe. Make sure all your windows and doors are tightly closed. If your dog is crate trained, leave him in his crate so he won't run or lunge and hurt himself when the fireworks begin. Or a small safe confined area. Again, play music and play it loudly

Give your dog plenty of exercise early in the day, so he'll be inclined to sleep during nighttime fireworks. Really tire him out.

Make sure your pet is wearing an I.D. tag, in case he somehow escapes and runs away. Be sure the collar fits snugly.

Do not under any circumstances leave your dog outside, even if he's fenced or tied. If he gets frightened, you dog may well escape from a fenced area. If he panics at the sound of fireworks, he could injure himself by getting tangled in his leash.

Medication may help ease the stress for pets that are extremely afraid of fireworks.  Don't wait until your dog is having a panic attack to get medical help (all too often, people bring their dog to an emergency veterinary clinic on the 4th seeking treatment for anxiety related to fireworks). Talk to your vet. S/He may prescribe a mild sedative, which should be administered one hour or more before the festivities begin.

Check with your vet before the holiday to see if tranquilizers are advisable and to determine the correct dose.

Storm and Sound Phobias
Canine Thunder Phobia: The Bunker Protocol
What Happened to Summer’s Thunderstorm Phobia?
Sound Masking for Reactive Dogs

The Fourth of July is almost here.

Did you know that  "It's OK To Comfort Your Dogread more...