Activities For Dogs On Fourth Of July

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Introduction

U.S. Independence Day falls during one of the hottest months in the year and is packed with all sorts of summertime activities like hanging out at the lake, grilling, and of course, fireworks.  This may be the only time of the year when your dog hears the big booms and sees the bright flashes on the night's sky.  As fun as these experiences may be for us, we have to remember our dogs might be a little nervous with such booming sounds.  Fortunately, there are many activities dog owners can do to include their dog in the festivities that don't include a frightened pup under the lawn chair.

Go to the Parade

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Any Day
Free
Easy
2 to 3 Hours
Items needed
Leash
Bandanna (optional)
Fresh Water
Treats
Activity description
Almost all communities have Fourth of July parades during the week of Independence Day.  These are perfect events to bring your dog to, and it will give them loads of new experiences.  Socialization and stimulation are crucial for a happy and healthy dog, and parades are a perfect Fourth of July activity.  Parades are usually a go in all types of weather, but if the forecast looks like rain, you might want to stay home or be prepared with a doggy raincoat.  Warm sunny days are the ideal conditions for bringing your dog to the parade.  Make sure you have your dog's leash and find out in advance if dogs should be in designated areas or not.  Most of the time, a well-behaved dog co-mingles just fine with the crowds.  Fresh water and a bowl are necessary as well for the duration of the parade.  Some dog owners can get festive and dress their dog up in a red, white, and blue bandanna.  This is purely optional, but it does lend to your dog's patriotic appeal.  Finally, grab a handful of treats to reward your dog during the parade.
Step
1
Grab your gear
A leash, water, water bowl, and treats are in order for this activity. Your dog will be around a lot of people so you can help keep them well disciplined with the leash and by rewarding them treats for good behavior. The water and bowl are a must for any outing, especially a summertime parade that might last a few hours.
Step
2
Find the perfect spot
Finding the perfect spot to watch a parade is important always, but when you have your dog with you, you must think about their comfort and relief. Set yourself up close to a green space where your dog can relieve themselves and always carry doggy poop bags with you for that reason. Having a safe place to retreat to is also important if a loud marching band comes through. Some dogs do not like loud sounds and marching bands will be the loudest part of any parade.
Step
3
Keep a watchful eye on your dog
Your dog should always remain on the leash when in public. This is for their safety as well as the safety of those around your dog. Depending on the size of the parade, you might be outside for a few hours. During this time, it is important to watch your dog for any signs of fatigue or heatstroke. July is a hot month and finding a place that has shade and gives you an opportunity to water your dog is essential. Remember, if you're overheating, your dog most certainly will be too.
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Share Pupsicles

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 Hour
Items needed
Pupsicle Recipe and Ingredients
Pupsicle Molds or Ice Cube Trays
Activity description
Since July is one of the hottest months of the year and you will no doubt be enjoying outside activities during the daytime, make your dog a frozen treat to help them keep cool.  Unlike popsicles that are fruit and sugar flavored, pupsicles are usually meat flavored.  Many recipes include chicken stock and carrots as well as finely chopped bits of chicken.  Frozen overnight, these treats become a challenging and tasty treat for a pup trying to keep cool during your afternoon grilling.  These are great treats for sunny days outside, and the size of the pupsicle will depend on the size of your dog.  Smaller dogs will do fine with frozen treats made from ice cube trays, but larger dogs might enjoy these frozen treats from larger pupsicle molds or single serve yogurt cups.
Step
1
Gather your ingredients
You know your dog's taste pretty well. If they love chicken flavored treats, find a pupsicle recipe that uses chicken stock. Beef stock is also a popular choice. Most dogs go bananas for peanut butter so a peanut butter, banana, and plain yogurt recipe might be up your dog's alley instead.
Step
2
Freeze overnight
Pupsicles take some time to freeze. If you want your dog to enjoy a frozen treat during the hottest parts of the day while they are basking in shade outside, you have to make your treats ahead of time. The night before is perfect, and the pupsicles will be ready to go for the next day.
Step
3
Play time followed by pupsicles
These frozen treats are new and exciting for your pooch but before you let them have the tasty goodness, play a little. Playtime during the day will help your dog use up some of the extra energy they might store for the evening when they might be alone. Don't overdo it in the heat and be sure to monitor your dog's heat levels. After 10 or 15 minutes of playtime, reward your dog with one of the frozen treats so they can regain water and cool off with something fun.
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Sprinkler Time

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
20 Minutes
Items needed
Sprinkler
Activity description
Hot summer days mean you get to cool off in the water but what about pooch?  You can include your dog in water fun by running the sprinkler on the lawn.  This is a cheap and easy activity that only requires a sprinkler and a water supply, of course.  Sunny days are the best for this type of activity.  Sprinkler time with the dog will help keep them cool and prevent some of the nasty heat-related illnesses that might occur during the summertime.  This cooling and fun activity will also help tucker your pooch out for the evening when the big booms of fireworks might otherwise frighten them.
Step
1
Set the sprinkler up
Grab the sprinkler and set it up in the yard. It's far better if you have a fenced-in backyard, so your dog doesn't escape during all the fun playtime. However, if you don't have a fenced-in yard, keep a good eye on your pooch while you both cool off in the water.
Step
2
Get the kids and the dog
Running through the sprinkler is so much more fun when you have a partner. This is also true for your dog who might look at you like you're nuts if you turn it on and ask them to get in it. Engage your dog by getting the kids to play in the water as well. If you do not have kids, jump on the sprinkler yourself. Your dog will join you once they see how much fun you're having being a big kid again.
Step
3
Follow up play time with a water break
After about 20 minutes of vigorous playtime in the sprinkler, your dog and possibly you will need a break from the fun. Don't be fooled by your dog's wet coat; they still need to drink water after having all that fun. Follow up your playtime with a small treat and a little water. A nice shady area out of the direct sun is also a good place for your dog to rest and cool down after a good romp in the sprinkler.
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More Fun Ideas...

Stay Inside at Night

Loud noises are the big scary events for dogs during the Fourth of July.  If you're planning on seeing the fireworks, keep your dog at home.  By tuckering them out with daytime activities, you might be able to shield them from some of the scariness of the nighttime activities.  White noise or classical music will also help mask the sound of fireworks outside.

Find a Dog Related Picnic

Your dog is not alone in their fear of loud noises.  Many communities have dog-related picnics and parties during Fourth of July just so your pooch can participate in the festivities.  Contact your local parks and community organizers to find out if there's one in your neighborhood.

Conclusion

The Fourth of July falls during summertime, which comes with hot days and freedom.  While nighttime fireworks shows are never a good idea, there are plenty of other fun Fourth of July activities for your dog during the daytime.  Playtime and exhausting experiences during the day will significantly reduce your dog's fear at night once the "rocket's red glare [and] the bombs bursting in air" begin.