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Keeping July 4th from Being Your Dog's Nightmare

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The 4th of July is one of the most exciting times of year for people, but the same cannot be said for our canine friends. This holiday is the top holiday for dogs to get lost, especially in the busy Chicago area with its many festivities. Animals in these situations are very likely to end up at Chicago Animal Care and Control. In May 2016 alone, CACC took in over 600 dogs as strays, and it is likely that July will see a bigger number.

Since many dogs brought in as strays are lost, rather than abandoned, this is a fate that could await your dog if he or she isn't kept in a safe, secure area during the 4th. Boarding your dog may not be possible during this time because many people are out of town and boarding facilities likely to be full. Besides making sure your dog has a collar with current tags, as well as a microchip, you should keep your home as stress-free as possible for your dog during this time.

Even if your yard is fenced, keep your dog leashed when she or he needs to go out. Some people set off firecrackers well before it gets dark, and the noise from these tends to frighten dogs. Taking the dog on a leash is a good precautionary measure if you have company that may not be careful about closing gates. Try to give your dog a potty break before any major fireworks displays start.

Some dogs who sleep in their training crates at night may feel a little more secure being in their crate. However, make things extra comfortable for them so that they won't associate the crate with a bad experience. Consider putting their crate in a room where the family is gathered, and the TV is on. Make sure everyone knows not to let the dog out while the fireworks are underway.

The best solution for a dog unaccustomed to crating is a quiet room with a door you can close. Make sure any windows are closed, because a dog is likely to go through a screen to get out. If the room has a bed, couch or another piece of furniture for the dog to go under, your pet will be more likely to feel secure. Consider having a TV or radio on tuned to some program that involves quiet talk or music to minimize some of the noise outside.

The 4th is likely to stress your dog out but doesn't have to be their worst nightmare. Showing them, there's nothing to fear helps them feel more confident. Providing them with a quiet space, they cannot escape from also makes a major difference.