Who doesn’t love a good fireworks show? Well, there’s a good chance your pup may not, so to keep those tails waggin’ this Fourth of July, we’ve pulled together a game plan that will help put dogs at ease when the celebrations start. By keeping dogs distracted and occupied with a fun task, the holiday will be sure to stay a treat for all.
Dog Puzzles and Games: Look for toys that make dogs work or think. Concentrating on solving a puzzle in order to get a reward will help take their focus off the fireworks. Outward Hound’s Nina Ottosson dog puzzles include tumblers, tornados and even a dog casino where pets work their brains in order to find and release treats, providing hours of activity and, most importantly, mental distraction for dogs. Just make sure to introduce these games to your pup before the fireworks start so they’re familiar with it and know how to use it.
Try a Chew Toy: A durable chew toy, like a Kong, is designed so dogs can chew on it for hours. It can even be stuffed with peanut butter or treats to make it more enticing for extra anxious dogs.
Use the TV for Companionship: Try leaving on a radio or television to help mask the sound of fireworks and keep your dog comfy. Dog TV is a special canine channel available through several cable networks that is veterinarian-recommended to treat loneliness, anxiety and depression in dogs. Their scientifically-developed content for dogs also works to relax, stimulate and desensitize dogs.
Arrange a Playdate: Playing with a doggie B.F.F. will help ensure your pup is tuckered out when the big show lights up the sky. Schedule the date for earlier in the day before the festivities, and if a playdate isn’t available, take your dog for a long walk (hint: Wag! Walkers are available on holidays too!) or run, put your ChuckIt! ball thrower to good use, or spend some time at the dog park. A tired dog is a good dog.
Play Hide and Seek: Hide your dog’s favorite treats around the house leading them on a scent sniffing scavenger hunt around a predetermined area of the house. The possibility of more treats will have dogs hunting for hours. If you prefer giving treats remotely, try the Furbo, an interactive pet camera that allows you to check in, talk and even give your dog treats from your smartphone.