Friday, July 3, 2015

3 steps to a happy 4th of July (dogs and humans alike!)

Pug and Boston terrier head tip with American flags
By now, most people know that fireworks and dogs just don't mix. Those loud noises we think are so amusing and so celebratory are hard on their very sensitive ears, and that means most people who have dogs really dread the 4th. I know of scores of people who spend the entire holiday season trying to keep their pets from climbing the walls (more on that here).

But, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the birth of America in the company of your dog. In fact, there are all sorts of things you can do together this weekend to mark the occasion. Here are my ideas.

1. Have a dog-friendly barbeque. 

Hot dogs are my go-to training treat, because they're small, odoriferous and easy to break apart. When I have a new command to try out, I always reach for uncooked weiners. In fact, I can get Liam to do a head tip with the words "hot dog" said in a rising inflection.

Here's proof!
Pug and Boston terrier and flags
This weekend, Liam and Sinead will get a few bites of uncooked dog, while hubby and I will snack on dogs from the grill.

2. Take a hike with your dog through a national park. 

Green spaces are among our nation's most valuable treasures, and what better way to express your love for your country than to take a reverent hike with your dog? You might have to pay an entrance fee, and it's quite possible that the parks will be a little crowded. It is a holiday, after all.

But your dog might consider the crowds just part of the fun. I know Liam feels that way. It's hard to tell if he likes hiking or meeting hikers more. Sinead, on the other hand, can get a little worried in crowds. She pulls faces like this from time to time.
Pug and Boston terrier with flags
Even so, she loves to hike. But sadly, these guys won't be hiking this weekend, as the weather is too hot for their little muzzles (more on that here). But if the temps are cooler where you are, a hike could be great!

3. Plop down for some all-American rest and relaxation. 

If I had to rank my dog's all-time favorite activities, snoozing on the couch would probably take the top spot. Both Liam and Sinead really enjoy some quiet lap time, and a loud television is sometimes the best antidote to loud and raucous neighbors. Sinead's been practicing her resting already.
Boston terrier on red couch with American flags
I have a few movies all picked out, and we might even sneak in a few episodes of Orange is the New Black, for good measure.

Whatever you do, remember to keep your dogs identified this weekend. Use a collar, microchips or both, so you can be reunited with your dog if that pup bolts this weekend.

So are you doing anything wonderful this weekend? Let me know in the comments!