When you think of Fourth of July, you probably think of watching fireworks. And while fireworks are mesmerizing, if you have a dog, fireworks can cause anxiety and stress.
We asked Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Franklin and Mt. Juliet for some tips on how to help our pups handle the loud noises of Fourth of July. She offered these five tips:
1. If the dog is crate trained, utilize the crate on the night of July fourth. Covering the crate in a heavy blanket and then leaving calm music or noise canceling sounds playing can help block the sound of fireworks.
2. If the dog is not crate trained, find an area of the house that he feels comfortable and safe in that he can wait out the fireworks. Get settled in that spot with him well before evening and play gentle music once fireworks start.
3. Give your dog something to chew on (like one of our natural rawhides, benebones, or buffalo bones) or a toy (like a filled West Paw Tux toy or a kong) to keep him busy and distract him.
Some products Kessinger recommends are:
Ark Naturals Happy Traveler chews and capsules – capsules are excellent for big dogs, chews great size for small dogs. Chews also make it easier to get dog’s to take the calming aid if they are picky about taking medicine. This formula is slower acting (45 mins to an hour) but long lasting and mellows the dog out without making them foggy like a sedative does.
Composure – another chew. these work in about 30 minutes but last a shorter amount of time. Great for situational calming.
Herbsmith July Third – comes size appropriate for small and large dogs, it’s a chew that promotes calmness. They call it July third because they recommend starting the chew 12-24 hours before the situation that can cause anxiety. Unlike the other two chews that can be for daily use, this product is meant for limited time use such as travel, trips to the vet, or fireworks.
4. Once fireworks are being set off – keep your dog inside! The fight or flight instinct is very strong and even a well-secured yard can be escaped if a dog panics.
5. July Fourth is a day that many dogs go missing because the loud noises scare them and prompt them to run. Make sure your dog is wearing identification tags just in case and be extra cautious about securing him inside while fireworks are going off.
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Three Dog Bakery has two locations in Middle Tennessee: 1556 W McEwen Dr #112, Franklin, TN 37067 & 1982 Providence Pkwy #102, Mt Juliet, TN 37122.