Independence Day. A day for picnics, getting together with friends, parades and FIREWORKS!!
Fireworks are great to look at, the colors are spectacular. They can also be loud! Very LOUD!! They can scare your dog!!! Many dogs bolt thru screens, crash thru windows, and jump fences to get away from the noise.
This will be Melissa's first July 4th, we really do not know how she will react to the fireworks. She has not reacted at all to thunderstorms. I think she will be ok with the fireworks. But to be on the safe side here is our plan: 1) She will be in the house during the evening hours this entire weekend, as will our adult dogs. Fireworks will begin early, most likely tonight, Friday. With the 4th on Sunday and the Holiday on Monday...a 3 day weekend, people will party early. We have nearly 4 acres, but just in case a neighbor shoots off a big one, I'd rather have her in the house then in the yard. 2) We will monitor her to see if she should get a bit anxious. We will watch for her pacing, breathing faster, or startling at any distant sounds of celebration. If she does we will party it up, the bestest of treats will come out. Our other dogs, who have never been bothered by fireworks, will join in. We will close the windows, play relaxing music and have a party of our own indoors. We will make a pleasant association with the loud noises to wonderful treats: dried tripe, salmon, the stinky stuff that dogs really like. We have done this with our previous puppies to prevent them from becoming fearful of thunderstorms. It works! We must have made an extra nice association of lightning and thunder with our 7 yr old dog. He runs to the window during a storm, wags his tail at the biggest bolt of lightening and comes running to us for a treat, totally relaxed with a Borzoi grin on his face. 3) We will make sure Melissa has LOTS of exercise during the day so she will be tired and ready to settle in the evening. I just picked up some huge meaty bones from the butcher. Melissa will have one in her ex-pen to keep her busy.
Does this mean Paul and I won't be partying this 4th? Going to see fireworks? We have a puppy, this is her first 4th of July, we will stay home to make sure she is ok. We are pretty sure she will be, she has not reacted to any thunder or lightning, trucks back-firing, loud noises etc, but we'd rather stay home and party and keep an eye on her. Missing out on some parties and giving our time to Melissa this 4th is part of being a puppy owner. Puppies take time, they are our responsibility. My goal is to have Melissa totally comfortable with whatever her future holds. A little prevention now while she is young, is well worth the time and effort.