Preparing Your Great Dane For 4th of July

fireworks

Independence Day is a uniquely American holiday, a celebration of freedom and the many wonderful things that come with living in this great country of ours. While our Great Danes surely have some appreciation of the American dream and the freedoms it represents, they may not be as enthusiastic about the way we celebrate this holiday.

Fourth of July celebrations inevitably include fireworks and while we humans enjoy the spectacular light shows created by these explosives, our Great Danes may find the whole experience quite frightening. In fact, July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters throughout the U.S. as hundreds of animals escape their homes in an effort to flee the explosive sounds echoing through the night.

There are obvious dangers involved for pets that escape the safety of their homes when scared. They may get lost, injured, or even stolen. If they are lucky enough to end up in a shelter (a terrible place to spend the holiday), they are still without their family and the comforts of home. This can be a very trauma-filled experience for any animal.

Telltale Signs Your Dane Is Scared?

The number one reason that animals flee their homes in such great numbers during the Fourth of July holiday is fireworks. Many animals are frightened by both the loud noises and the unusual lights and in response, they flee.

If you are not already sure that your Great Dane is impacted by these Fourth of July celebrations, there are several telltale signs that you can watch for.

  • Hiding – When frightened, many animals will hide. If you can’t find your Dane during the Fourth of July celebrations, be sure to search your entire home. They may be cowering in a bathroom or under the bed.
  • Shaking –  When dogs are scared they become anxious and that anxiety often results in shaking as they try to alleviate their pent-up energy.
  • Panting and Salivating – When dogs are anxious they will often begin breathing faster. This will result in panting and salivating.
  • Whining and Whimpering – Whining and whimpering are certain signs of distress in dogs. If your Dane is whining or seeking excess attention, they are likely scared.

How To Help EaseYour Dane’s Stress

If your Great Dane shows signs of distress during the Fourth of July celebrations there are some things that you can do to help ease their anxiety. It is important to understand that it is not just the loud noises and bright lights that frighten them. Oftentimes, it is more about the unfamiliarity of the situation that frightens your Dane. Unfamiliarity breeds uncertainty and uncertainty breeds fear.

  • Stay Home With Them – The best thing that you can do for your Great Dane if they show signs of anxiety is to be with them. You are their best friend and guardian and they trust you to care for them. If you are right beside them in times of stress it will help to ease their fears and you will be able to monitor their behavior and prevent a potential fleeing attempt.
  • Give Them a Safe Place – Likely your Dane already has a safe place somewhere within your home. Make sure that this place is accessible during stressful situations and do what you can to make it as distraction-free as possible. Close windows and doors to deaden loud noises and draw the shades to shut out the unfamiliar lights. If possible, turn on the TV or music to create less frightening background noise.
  • Wear Them Out In Advance – Exercising your Great Dane in advance of the Fourth of July festivities can go a long way toward reducing the stressfulness of the holiday. Engaging your Dane in physical activities like a long walk or a game of fetch shortly before the fireworks begin may help.
  • Talk to Your Vet About Medicinal Remedies – If all else fails, there are medicinal remedies that may help your Dane relax during stressful situations. Talk to your veterinarian to see what is best for your particular situation.

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