With the excitement and commotion surrounding Independence Day approaching, Bark Busters, the world’s largest and most trusted dog training company, offers helpful tips for the estimated 43 million U.S. dog owners on how to keep their dogs safe and calm during July 4th festivities.
“Independence Day celebrations are great fun for people, but the loud noises and flashes from fireworks can be traumatic for dogs,” said Jeff Fick and Janie Fairchild, dog behavioral therapists and trainers, Bark Busters USA. “The explosions, excited voices, and visual stimulation can create confusion and fear. To avoid this, we humans must intervene.”
“Animal shelters report that the July 4th holiday brings record numbers of runaway dogs to their doors,” Fairchild continued. “Many of these dogs have been frightened by fireworks. By being aware and thinking ahead, we can keep our dogs safe and comfortable during the revelry.”
Fick offers the following tips for dog owners to prepare for Independence Day:
• If you are going to a fireworks display, leave your dog at home where he will be the most safe and comfortable.
• If you go to a holiday event, never leave your dog in the car. A partially opened window does not supply sufficient fresh air, and it creates an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
• Always keep proper identification securely fastened to your dog’s collar in case he gets out. Talk to your veterinarian about implanting a universal microchip in your pet, and make sure that your veterinary clinic and animal shelter have your correct contact information in their database.
• Don’t leave your dog outside. If you cannot bring him inside, cover his dog house with a blanket to protect him from the bursts of bright lights and loud bangs. A dog’s sense of hearing is acute—about four times more sensitive than humans’.
• Create a special den-like area in your home where your dog feels safe. A properly introduced crate or kennel can be a calming refuge for him.
• Some dogs become destructive when frightened. If you don’t use a crate, remove any items in the room which your dog could destroy or which could hurt him if he chewed them.
• Keep your dog away from the front and back doors. Your dog may be under significant stress, which could result in unnecessary injury to others or cause him to dart out the door.
• Keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes.
• Turn on a TV or radio at normal volume to distract your dog from loud noises and help him to relax.
• If possible, stay with your pet during the majority of the fireworks. A dog often reacts more intensely to loud sounds and flashes of lights when you are not with him.
• Consider hiring a pet sitter to stay with your dog while you are away from home.
“July 4 is a time for fun and celebration” Fick said. “By taking these precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and happy holiday experience.”
Bark Busters dog behavioral therapists, such as Janie Fairchild and Jeff Fick, are renowned authorities in correcting and managing dog behavior. Bark Busters’ natural training system can successfully train any dog, even a puppy, by leveraging the same communications methods—body language and voice control—that dogs follow as part of their instinctual pack mentality. Many of our clients require only one home visit from a Bark Busters-certified dog behavioral therapist if owners continue with follow-up exercises just 10 to15 minutes a day for several weeks. All training takes place right in the home where the problems generally occur. And Bark Busters’ training is the only service of its kind that is guaranteed for the life of the dog. In every market where Bark Busters is established, a majority of veterinarians familiar with the technique recommend the company’s services.