The fifth of July is one of the top days for dogs to go missing

By Kelli Bender
July 02, 2015 05:45 PM

Dog owners always want to include their pets in the festivities, but the Fourth of July is a holiday your pup might want to sit out.

According to DogVacay, July 5 is one of the top days for dogs to go missing, with animal control officials reporting a 30-60 percent increase in lost pets over July 4-6. This bump in missing animals is mainly caused by loud and shocking fireworks that scare dogs away from home.

It is hard to control the amount of noise your neighbors make on Independence Day, but you can still help your pet by preparing them for firework shows.

Check out these tips from the pet experts at DogVacay on how you can help your pet have a stress-free Fourth of July.

1. Stay Calm Yourself: Dogs can sense anxiety in their owners’ body language, which can contribute to their own stressful feelings. If you act nervous or shocked around fireworks, this can put your dog on alert even more. Stay calm around fireworks or move yourself and your dog to an area where neither of you will be bothered by them.

2. Tire Your Dog Out Early: Sleepy dogs are relaxed dogs. Before you start celebrating on the Fourth, take your dog on a long walk, and make sure to play active games with them throughout the day. By the time the fireworks start, your pup will be more mellow and drowsy from all the extra attention.

3. Keep Your Dog Distracted: If your dog is still energetic when the fireworks start, this would be a good time to divert their attention. Try playing fetch with them or giving them a toy with treats during the show to keep them distracted. This also gives your pooch a chance to associate fireworks with something positive.

4. Let Your Dog Hide at Home: If your dog runs into the house or another safe place to hide, let them be. Forcing your dog to sit through fireworks, when they are already scared, will only frighten them more.

5. Get a ThunderShirt: These tight-fitting jackets, snugly swaddle your dog, much like their mother would do when they were pups. This feeling can help anxious dogs calm down in high stress situations. Try putting a ThunderShirt on your dog before the fireworks (not during) so they are already relaxed when the show begins.