Strategies like ThunderShirts, festive activities, and anti-anxiety medication can alleviate dogs’ fear on July Fourth

by Andrew Wright
Dogs' Fourth of July anxiety

On the Friday preceding Independence Day, numerous dog owners withstood scorching temperatures in southern Phoenix to participate in a microchipping event hosted in a shelter.

The reduced pricing offered by Maricopa County certainly attracted some owners, but a majority were present to have their dogs implanted with a microchip containing their contact details. This practice significantly boosts the chances of reuniting with their beloved pets, should they go astray during the Fourth of July festivities.

Rori Chang, a golden retriever owner, shared, “Ava reacts fearfully to loud noises, preferring to take refuge in corners. After that, she incessantly paws, seeking constant petting to comfort her.”

While July Fourth fireworks captivate and occasionally harm us, they remain an integral part of the holiday. Parades, golf and a mix of cheers and jeers have characterized July Fourth for US presidents. BBQ season and the Fourth of July call for grilled spiced chicken — with seasoning that doesn’t slide off.

While many in the U.S. eagerly anticipate the brilliant fireworks display this Tuesday, it can cause distress among their furry companions. Pet owners across the country are exploring ways to alleviate their pets’ anxiety caused by the explosive celebrations.

A wide spectrum of behaviors can be observed in dogs during this period, ranging from seeking shelter in hidden corners to fleeing their homes. Annually, owners grapple with finding ways to soothe their pets’ nerves.

In Phoenix, Veterinarian Dr. Kelley DeGroff is accustomed to receiving requests for anti-anxiety medication for pets around two weeks prior to Independence Day, with such requests surging this past week.

“It seems to be breed-specific. Hunting dogs are generally unperturbed by the noise, but many other dogs exhibit a fight-or-flight response,” DeGroff noted.

DeGroff usually prescribes a noise phobia gum gel or anti-anxiety tablets. She anticipates a last-minute rush for medications but advises owners to seek help at least a week in advance.

“It’s beneficial to have a trial dosage, so you know what to anticipate and its effectiveness,” DeGroff added.

For those unable to seek veterinary help, DeGroff recommends calming supplements or a ThunderShirt, a wearable that imparts a gentle, soothing pressure on dogs.

Dog daycares are also expanding their offerings. Phoenix-based Dogtopia franchises have employed additional staff in recent years, shared marketing manager David Duran.

UConn introduces Siberian husky pup Jonathan XV as the school’s next mascot. Nearly 1/3 of the US homeless population lives in California. A local veterinarian is providing care for their pets. Colombian military searches for heroic dog who helped find children in the Amazon jungle. A man fatally stabs a pit bull in Central Park following a dispute between dog walkers.

To cater to owners enjoying extended festivities this Tuesday, Dogtopia will extend their pickup hours until 11 p.m. Although their playrooms are largely soundproof, employees will host “dance parties” and play loud music to drown out the sound of fireworks.

Fireworks vendor Bille Jo Gonzales, based in Butte, Montana, has initiated a solution by selling CBD dog treats at her stall. This innovation not only addresses the problem her business creates but also bolsters her sales.

Regrettably, dogs tend to go missing every Fourth of July. This is when shelters step in, noticing a spike in stray dogs in the days following the holiday.

A shelter in Great Falls, situated 155 miles north of Butte, has recently installed a 24/7 microchip scanning device. This helps

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dogs’ Fourth of July anxiety

Q: What strategies can help alleviate dogs’ anxiety on the Fourth of July?

A: Strategies such as ThunderShirts (dog wraps), anti-anxiety medication, and engaging in festive activities can help soothe dogs’ anxiety during Fourth of July celebrations.

Q: Why do some dogs experience anxiety during fireworks?

A: Certain breeds and dogs with noise sensitivity may experience a fight-or-flight response to the loud noises and explosions associated with fireworks, leading to anxiety and fear.

Q: When should I seek veterinary assistance for my dog’s anxiety?

A: It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian at least a week before the Fourth of July to discuss anxiety medications or other remedies. This allows for a trial dose to ensure effectiveness.

Q: Are there any alternatives to medication for calming anxious dogs?

A: Yes, alternatives include ThunderShirts, which provide gentle pressure and a sense of security, as well as calming supplements designed to reduce anxiety in dogs.

Q: How can dog daycares help with dogs’ Fourth of July anxiety?

A: Dog daycares may extend pickup hours, create soundproof playrooms, and engage in activities like “dance parties” with loud music to help distract dogs from the sound of fireworks.

Q: What should I do if my dog goes missing on the Fourth of July?

A: If your dog goes missing, contact local shelters and provide them with your pet’s microchip information or collar identification. Shelters often experience an increase in strays following the holiday.

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FurryFriendFanatic July 4, 2023 - 10:22 am

omg, i nevr thought about how loud fireworkz could afct dogs on july 4th! my dog iz a total scardy cat and hides in cornerz too. i’m def gonna look into getting a thunder shirt for her or maybe sum calming supplementz. thx for the tipz!

FurryFriendFanatic July 7, 2023 - 12:41 am

omg, i nevr thought about how loud fireworkz could afct dogs on july 4th! my dog iz a total scardy cat and hides in cornerz too. i’m def gonna look into getting a thunder shirt for her or maybe sum calming supplementz. thx for the tipz!


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