The Fourth of July is great for Americans. But it’s not necessarily the best day for dogs, unless they manage to snag a juicy hamburger cooking on the grill.
Some dogs have a very difficult time on this National Holiday. They are very sensitive to the noise, especially firecrackers. Remember that a dog’s hearing is more advanced than a human’s. They can hear sounds at higher frequencies, and also from a greater distance.
The sensitivity of a dog’s hearing also depends upon the breed. In general, if your pet’s ears stand up, rather than flop over like a spaniel’s, their hearing is more acute.
Before he went deaf, I was amazed at how well our now 16-year-old dog could once hear. My husband would be watching something on television, two rooms away. If the show involved a dog barking, no matter how much it was in the background, our dog would run into the room and bark at the TV.
So it’s safe to assume, unless your dog is deaf, that he or she is going to have more discomfort than you this Independence day.
Tips to Calm Your Dog on the Fourth of July
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- Go for a Walk. One of the best, and easiest ways, to distract your pet from the noise is to take him or her for a walk, in familiar surroundings, as far away as possible from the fireworks or firecrackers.
- Distract Your Dog. If your pet normally likes to play catch, or retrieve balls, now is the time to engage in his favorite game.
- Essential Oils. Lavender oil is great for calming both dogs and humans. But with a dog a little goes a long way. Not only are your dog’s ears more developed than yours, but his sense of smell is also much more sophisticated. So just a strong whiff of lavender essential oil is all you need. (Always check with your vet before using aromatics on dogs, and don’t use them with pregnant dogs or puppies.)
- Rescue Remedy. Veterinarians often recommend homeopathic Rescue Remedy, which works amazingly well to calm dogs and cats. It is safe, gentle and effective. One bottle should last for many years, and it can be used for multiple pets.
Rescue Remedy is something I’ve had in my house for more than a decade. I can’t say enough about this formula, developed by an early 20th-century British MD named Dr. Edward Bach. He believed that negative emotions can cause physical illness. So he spent a large part of his career looking for ways to ease mental angst. The result was a series of 38 gentle homeopathic remedies made from flowers.
The best known is Rescue Remedy, a combination of five flower essences designed to relieve stress, trauma and shock. The special formulation for animals, shown above, is made without alcohol.
How To Calm Your Dog On the Fourth Of July
I still use the original bottle I own of Rescue Remedy. One of the reasons I’ve kept it so long is that I only use it as needed. Using the minimum-dose principal of homeopathy, I wait for the remedy to work. I don’t take another dose unless it’s clearly needed. If it’s not needed, I put the bottle away until another stressful situation presents itself.
It’s designed for short term stressful situations, such as what a dog would experience on the Fourth of July.