Tomorrow is July 4th, the day when the most dogs run away from home out of fear. To help make July 4th an enjoyable day for your dog instead of a terrorizing one, follow these tips:

1) Be aware of your emotions on the days leading up to the holiday. Are you nervous, anxious or fearful because your dog will feel it and think that something bad is coming. Instead, stay cool, stay calm and think thoughts of leadership to help communicate to your dog that nothing out of the ordinary is going to happen.

2) Take your dog on a REALLY long walk on the morning of July 4th (like 2 hours ending at the dog park). Add a backpack loaded with water bottles if you have one. Take your dog for a long swim at the beach. Get him as tired as you know how so that when the excitement begins (family, BBQ, laughter, fireworks, etc), he will be too tired to respond.

3) If your dog is fearful, put him on a leash and attach the leash to your belt loop. Don’t talk to him, pet him, or feel sorry for him, just keep chill and pretend like he’s not there. This will show your dog that there’s nothing to worry about because the pack leader isn’t worried about it.

4) If you don’t have the mental ability to ignore your dog through calm, assertive leadership and you suspect that your dog will have a really hard time with the fireworks, consider boarding your dog at a vet’s clinic so that your dog can stay safe and contained  instead of bolting.

Have a safe and happy 4th! Happy Birthday, America!

Lead your dog!

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