Summer holidays pose significant threats to pets, but you can do your part to keep them safe.
July is Pet Loss Prevention Month, and with July 5th being the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, knowing how to keep your dog safe is more important than ever.
Whistle is the company behind some of the best pet gadgets in the industry, and their team is committed to helping pet owners in every way possible.
Their GPS pet tracker and activity monitor is the smart way to always know where your pet is, but resident Pet Expert Caitie Steffen knows there's more to pet safety than good technology. As a former veterinary assistant, dog trainer, and dog behaviorist, she offers these expert tips to ensure a safe and fun Fourth of July.
1. Talk Before You Walk
The best case scenario would be you staying home with your dog on July 4th, but if you make plans, you have a responsibility to make sure your dog is taken care of. Ask or hire someone to take them for a walk or watch them while you're away.
Before you settle on a person, make sure you and your dog both trust them. If you ask a friend, give them a chance to meet your dog beforehand. And if you use a service like Rover, schedule a meeting before you commit to hiring them.
2. Have a Pet Safety Net
Dogs thrive on routines. They know when it's time to eat, sleep, and they know when their family is supposed to be home. You could be gone during the day, but your dog knows you're supposed to be safe in your bed at night.
For this reason, don't leave your dog home alone overnight. The extra stress of not knowing where you are will increase their chances of trying to escape. If you think you might not make it home at a reasonable hour, plan ahead by asking someone else to watch your dog.
3. The Pet Perimeter
Even if your dog has never tried to escape before, the stress associated with the holiday could cause them to bolt. You can prepare for this possibility by securing your home's perimeter.
Check the fence for possible weaknesses, and close every window, door, and gate. If your dog does happen to get out, hopefully you have a Whistle to help bring them home quickly and safely.
4. Hear No Evil
The loud booms that come with festive fireworks are scary for a lot of anxious dogs. You can help them stay calm by creating a sound buffer to block out thunder-like noise. White noise machines, music, and sounds from the TV can help distract your dog from the explosions in the sky.
READ MORE: How to Calm Your Pet During Fireworks
5. The Canine Cave is Key
Dogs instinctively look for protected areas when they're frightened, and hiding in a safe space is better than trying to outrun the sound. If they're crate trained, all you need to do is keep the crate comfy and in a closed-off area. If they don't have a crate, set up another area in the house and make sure they know it's for them.
6. Vets Know Best
Dogs that are afraid of fireworks are also usually afraid of other loud noises. If you already know your dog doesn't like thunder or is startled easily, reach out to your vet. They may be able to recommend treatment for their anxiety.
Try to do it as soon as possible to avoid the flood of pet owners that rush to the vet for last-minute Fourth of July help.
The best thing you can do for your pet on July 4th is be prepared. Caitie and the rest of the team at Whistle want dogs to be safe no matter what day of the year it is. Have a plan and don't let the festivities distract you from what really matters.
Do you have a plan for July 4th? Let us know in the comments below.
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