If you are in the U.S. you may have plans for the Fourth of July and if you’re one of the lucky ones — you have day off from work.
I have always enjoyed the holiday. We live in a small beach town and there are always parades, parties and of course fireworks. I’ve seen the fireworks display on the Mall in Washington, D.C. but my favorite have been right here by the sea where the fireworks are set off from barges in the middle of the Intracoastal River and from the end of the Flagler Beach Pier with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.
When my husband and I were first married, and before there were children, we would put on a little display on the back yard patio for the cats, Toby, Mandy and Kiki. They were fascinated as they lined up inside the house looking out the patio door. Our dog at the time — Buttons, a wire haired terrier – was not in the viewing stands, His Independence Day came when all of the fireworks had been put away for the year.
Most dogs are like Buttons. They don’t like the noise and smell of the fireworks. Because of that we always make sure our dogs are as comfortable as we can make them. We now go to local firework shows rather than set off our own but neighbors do what we once did and the public displays may be miles away but I know Kodi will be able to hear them with no problem.
Every year I spend a little extra time making sure Kodi is as comfortable as I can make him. He will have his Thundershirt on this year as I mentioned in an earlier post. He will also be in our bedroom with the television on (not blaring, normal to low level) his favorite channel which happens to be Nickelodeon. This provides some white noise for him to serve as a buffer from outside noises. I do not try to drown out the outside sounds.
Sometimes I will put up his crate and pad it with towels, a few favorite toys I know he is safe with, and maybe a t-shirt or other piece of clothing one of us has worn recently.
Crates are wonderful pet accessories and their uses extend far past training and traveling. They can become a dog’s “room” — his safe place to go whether it be to get away from noises like what we will hear tomorrow night or youngsters in the house. If your dog has not been used a crate before you don’t want to force him during what may already be a stressful situation for him. It won’t hurt to put up the crate and allow him to make the decision.
I always leave the crate open. I don’t want Kodi feeling trapped inside. To make the crate more cave-like I drape a blanket over the top. This is your dog’s preference. I know Kodi likes the cave atmosphere, why else would he chose to go under the bed to feel secure?
Many people try to include their pets in their holiday activities. In most instances I have observed that the dogs aren’t having fun and the people aren’t enjoying themselves as much because they are having to worry about their dogs. There are some exceptions but they are in the minority.
Dogs should never be left in cars, no exceptions, no excuses.
Tomorrow night don’t leave them outside, not even in a fenced yard. July 5th is a big day for humane societies and animal control departments with frightened dogs that tried to get away from the noises.
And if you have the day off spend some time with your favorite pooch. Before activities begin take him to a quiet park and walk with him, play inside with him and work on some tricks for treats. Having you home is all the holiday he/she needs.