Woohoo! The long, holiday weekend has arrived! Here at Whoa Doggy!, we are getting prepared for the busy weekend, as lots of our clients are taking short vacations over the long weekend, and we are providing vacation pet sitting services.
There is never a shortage of fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate Independence Day in Atlanta. The 4th of July is a celebration of our Nation's independence, but is also synonymous with outdoor celebrations, BBQs with friends and family, and of course, fireworks!
There's always a party pooper, though. Every year, on the 5th of July, while we're out walking dogs, we see a lot of “lost dog” posters around our intown Decatur and Atlanta neighborhoods for dogs that were so spooked by fireworks, they escaped their homes in an attempt to get away from the scary noises.
It is more common than you might think, and nothing will ruin your fun holiday weekend quicker than your beloved furry family member trying to make a run for it.
According to Tagg Pet Tracker, more pets run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. Between the 4th and 6th, there is a 30% increase in runaway dogs!
Luckily, there are a few simple precautions you can take to keep your pup nice and calm, and let him be a part of your holiday festivities.
Here are a few quick tips to help keep your dogs safe and sound during this holiday.
Keep guests informed with a note. Include your dog in your party.
This should be easy since our dogs are usually the life of the party anyway!
Keep them safe by asking your guests to keep doors and gates closed at all times to prevent accidental escapes.
Putting a note on doors and gates is a great way to remind guests that your pup should remain safely inside these areas.
Side note: If your party is outside, remember to have plenty of cool, fresh water on-hand! Be sure to refresh those water bowls often, and remember to provide plenty of shade for your pup! Your human guests will appreciate it, too!
What the heck was that?!
As the evening approaches, there will surely be sounds of 4th of July celebrations and fireworks in the area. Many dogs are terrified of these noises and try to escape or outrun them.
We have actually heard stories of dogs jumping through glass windows to get away from the sound of fireworks...yikes!
Do not leave your dog outside where he may be tempted to jump the fence. It’s also a lot noisier out there and can increase the anxiety your dog might have. Keep your dog indoors in a safe, comfortable room where he cannot escape. Be mindful of any doors or windows left open (even a crack), and secure them so your pup can’t sneak out, or get hurt trying to.
If you know you’ll be away from home during the evening hours, be sure to leave a few lights on and set up his favorite bed with a few of his favorite toys to make sure he’s comfy. If you know your dog gets super anxious from fireworks, thunder, or strange noises, it might be worth it to consider staying home, or bringing him with you if you are going to a dog-friendly place where he’ll be safe and comfy.
ThunderShirts aren’t just for thunder!
We have seen them work wonders. ThunderShirts work by basically swaddling, or hugging your dog. This constant, gentle pressure is what relieves their anxiety and makes them feel safe. According to the ThunderShirt website, over 80% of dogs and cats show significant improvement in symptoms when using ThunderShirt. They are super cute, too! You can find them at just about any pet shop in Atlanta or Decatur. We got ours from Inman Park Pet Works and couldn’t be happier.
Use a GPS Tracker on your Dog's Collar
If all else fails, at least you will have a way of locating your dog. Products like Tagg Pet Tracker are great for telling you your dog's whereabouts. Not only can you locate your dog instantly through their handy mobile app, but you can also get alerts on your mobile device any time your pet leaves your home! Sure, it may seem like overkill, but it can be the critical difference in your pet's safety. If you have a pet that is inclined to bolt out the door, we highly recommend a product like this!
Microchips for all!
We always recommend getting your dog microchipped. A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which gets implanted in your dog. The microchip contains your contact information, so that if your pet was ever found, he can be taken to just about any vet in the area to get the chip scanned. You can think of it like a permanent dog tag. There are many places to get your pet microchipped for as little as $25, including the Atlanta Humane Society. If you do a little searching, you might even find a local even that will microchip your pet for free!
And last, but certainly not least, ALWAYS keep a tag on your dog when he is not is a crate.
How do you keep your pets safe and comfy during the 4th of July holiday? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!