July 4th usually means lots of fireworks, and lots of fireworks can cause some serious anxiety for your pets. Here are a few friendly ways to help keep your pets calm when the show begins:
- Keep your pets indoors before the fireworks are set to begin. If they need to go outside, be sure to keep them on a leash.
- If possible, keep your pets with you. They will feel the most at ease in your presence.
- If you plan on being away from home, avoid leaving your pet alone. Having someone around with whom your pets are familiar with is a great alternative. (We’ll be there with extra snuggles if you need us!) If you plan on taking pets to a boarding facility, take them for a visit beforehand or use a place they are already familiar with. A new experience combined with the loud noises can cause extra stress.
- If there are lots of fireworks in your neighborhood, it’s not a bad idea to start preparing your pet by acclimating them to the sound of fireworks. Playing recordings or videos will help prep your pets so they’re not completely caught off guard the night of the celebrations.
- Drown out the loud booms by playing music or having the TV on at a decently loud volume.
- Make sure the blinds and curtains are closed.
- Keep in mind that many pets love to crawl into confined spaces when they are scared. Dogs, in particular, may want to be in their kennel or hide under the bed. Allow them access to these spaces to seek out extra comfort.
- For pets who already have major anxiety, you may want to ask your vet about a mild sedative or look into purchasing a ThunderShirt.
- Provide your pets with lots of extra exercise that day to help wear them out.
- Give your pets something fun to play and occupy their attention such as a Kong toy filled with treats or xylitol-free dog-safe peanut butter or new catnip toys for your cats.
- Make sure all garbage cans and bags are well sealed so a curious or anxious dog doesn’t decide to go after the leftovers from your BBQ or picnic or munch on shiny fireworks remnants looking for food.
And remember, all pets should have their collar on with identification tags in case you get separated. If they’re microchipped, make sure the information is up to date. New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July are the two biggest days of the year for pets on the loose.
By taking some precautions to comfort them we can help keep our furry friends safe and calm so we can all enjoy celebrating!