Every year, countless American dogs panic, hide, or even run away on July 4, terrified by the loud fireworks and boisterous barbecues that their humans enjoy so much. For many dogs and dog owners, Independence Day can be an unhappy event that's more stressful than it is fun.
So how can you relax on Independence Day and enjoy the peace of mind that Fido is calm and safe?
The dog behavioral experts at OneMind Dogs are sharing some secrets that will help both you and your dog breathe easy on July 4.
SECRET #1: EXUDE A CALM ATTITUDE
Dogs automatically associate the emotion surrounding an experience with the event itself, so if you're alarmed by the fireworks or worried about keeping Fido calm, he will be, too. If you maintain an upbeat, serene attitude, your dog will mirror that behavior.
SECRET #2: LEAD WITH BODY LANGUAGE
While soothing words can help calm your own nerves, body language is what your dog naturally understands and responds to first. Communicate to your pooch that it's okay to hide in a safe place by showing him where to go.
SECRET #3: REASSURE WITH SMALL TREAT PORTIONS
Reward your dog throughout the day using smaller bits of treats. To keep your dog interested in remaining calm and following your lead, spend time finding which treat works best as an incentive.