Here’s a fun way for dogs to enjoy the Fourth of July–a pet parade! Residents and visitors of Bend, Oregon (Ruff Wear’s headquarters) gather together for an annual pet parade – complete with costumes! Dogs of every shape and size strut their patriotic stuff through the downtown streets on the morning of the 4th. It’s a great way to start the day.
While parades and some other 4th of July traditions are fun for humans and dogs alike, dogs and fireworks are often at odds. Either dogs are chasing, barking, and biting at the pyrotechnics, or dogs are deliberately left indoors to keep their stress to a minimum. With senses ten times keener than humans, dogs are better suited for trail blazing through the twilight hours of the holiday than taking in a Fourth of July fireworks show. To make sure Fido doesn’t feel left out of the festivities, our town has a pet parade… but if your town doesn’t sponsor a pet-friendly event, here are some ways to incorporate your canine companion into your Independence Day celebration.
- Take your dog for a swim. Swimming is relaxing for many dogs and will happily tire them out, leaving them more relaxed when the fireworks start.
- Hike, camp, or backpack in a remote location. Taking your dog to a quiet, lightly traveled area will give you something fun to do together. To keep your adventure festive for the 4th, pack along some all-American hot dogs or s’mores.
- Snakes and party poppers. Who says fireworks need to pop, bang, and bust to be fun? There are a few fireworks like “snakes” and party poppers that are relatively safe, festive, and less noisy than other fireworks.
- Make your own fireworks show. Google “firework shows” on your computer, grab a beer, put some patriotic music on your i-Tunes player, and create your own show. Fido can join with a Happy Hour toast at his water bowl.
- Have a dog party. Invite your friends and their canines over for a firework-free party. Some ideas: toss a Hover Craft, BBQ canine and human treats, have dogs “bob” for hot dogs in a bucket or tub full of water, or camp out by a fire in the backyard.
Your turn! Bark at Us! What are you going to do with your dog on the 4th?