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Even though July 4th is a fun day for us humans, it is a scary holiday for most pups. To help keep your dog safe and happy, follow these 5 tips.

Up to Date: July 4th is the biggest day of the year where dogs run away because they are spooked by the fireworks.  In order to ensure your dog makes it back home safely, make sure your dog is wearing a collar with ID tags that have your current information. If you are going out of town and your dog is being taken care of by someone else, make sure he has that person’s information on his collar too.

Exercise: Your dog should get tons of exercise earlier in the day so that he is nice and tired by the time evening comes. Remember that a tired dog is a happy and relaxed dog. Also, make sure to take him out to potty before the fireworks.

Leave him at home: Although the parades, picnics, parties, and fireworks are great, many dogs would rather be left home alone then deal with the crowds and scary sounds. For the firework show itself, make sure your dog is inside the house and in a nice quiet, safe place.  A bedroom with a yummy bone, and the TV turned up to help block out the firework sounds works great.

Things to help: If your dog is extremely scared of fireworks, make sure to consult your vet for a tranquilizer for the night.  You can also use more natural remedies like the Thunder Shirt, an anti-anxiety vest,  or homeopathic calming tools like Rescue Remedy or the DAP Diffuser. If you are going to use any of these remedies, make sure to try them BEFORE July 4th so you can figure out what works best for your dog.

Prepare for next year:  There are several great sound desensitization CDs, like Calm Pet by Calmsound, that will help any pup feel more comfortable with fireworks as well as other scary sounds like garbage trucks and motorcycles. Most CD’s have to be used over a 3-5 months in order for work but they can make a big difference in your dog’s comfort level with loud sounds.