Independence Day is just around the corner, when most of us look forward to taking the day off for fun pursuits: attending parades, BBQs, pool parties, and fireworks displays. There are some among us, though, for whom this day is their worst nightmare: pets. Statistically, the 4th of July is the single most dangerous day of the year for pets. Pets don’t understand why their quiet neighborhood suddenly turns chaotic with popping and banging explosions, or why normally dark skies are now lit up with rockets, so they do what instinct tells animals to do when they feel threatened. They run. And so the 4th of July becomes dangerous for all kinds of pets. Some are injured by home fireworks, some are injured when they escape their yards, some become lost and never return home, and some end up temporarily housed at local animal shelters which causes overcrowding and euthanization of resident shelter pets for lack of space. That’s why it’s up to each of us to keep our personal pets secure and safe at home – for their own sake as well as for the sake of other pets. Here’s everything you need to do to keep your Corgi and any other pets safe this 4th of July.
- Leave Them Home. We usually advocate sharing experiences with your Corgi, but this is the one time of year when you must resist the temptation to take them with you to holiday events. At a BBQ or pool party, you’ll be distracted with socializing (or let’s face it, drinking) and it only takes one lapse of attention to allow your Corgi out of the front door or side gate. One pop of a firecracker later, your Corgi could be running in fear in completely unfamiliar surroundings, unable to find the way back. It should be obvious, but firework shows are also no place to bring pets. They don’t appreciate the visual displays and will be unsettled, if not terrified, by the noise. Don’t risk your Corgi’s life and safety – leave them home.
- Create a Safe Space. Prior to all the action, it’s imperative that you designate a safe space in your house where your Corgi can go when feeling vulnerable. They may already have a favorite spot in the house that you can fortify to be quieter and more comfortable. Make sure it’s far away from any chaos that might be happening in your home and pile in extra blankets and cushions, their favorite toys, treats, and a bowl of water. If your Corgi is crate trained, put extra blankets in and around the crate to make it extra quiet and dark. Make the room or space off limits to guests and consider using a radio or other media source to play calming music.
- Use Calming Aids. In addition to a safe space, your Corgi might benefit from other calming aids to help keep him relaxed throughout the day. Many pet parents swear by the Thundershirt, which creates a snug, swaddling sensation that many dogs find comforting. You also might want to try a pheromone-based calming aid such as Adaptil which comes in a plug in or spray. If your Corgi is extra fearful or easily upset, you should talk to your vet about prescription drugs that can be given on a temporary basis.
- Check In. If you’re at home, make sure to check on your Corgi periodically to make sure he’s staying calm and relaxed. Nothing is more reassuring to your Corgi than your presence, so take a few minutes to sit and pet and speak quietly to him. If your holiday plans take you away from home for the day, make sure you leave your Corgi with a well-fortified safe space and let any housemates know not to leave doors or gates open. It might be a good idea to have a friend or family member check in on your Corgi if you can’t do it yourself.
- ID is Key. It is more important on this day than any other that your Corgi wear an ID tag with your current phone number clearly legible. You should also check to make sure your Corgi’s microchip is up to date in a national registry. If despite all your careful planning your Corgi still gets out of your home and is lost, with a clear ID tag, whoever finds him can call you immediately. Sometimes pets lose their collars, so without an ID tag a microchip is the next best way to reunite you.
We hope you have a safe, sane, happy and fun holiday. With all of the above steps in place, you can also have peace of mind that your Corgi is safe and comfortable as you celebrate this 4th of July.