Fourth of July is just around the corner with all of its festivities and fun. Everyone’s favorite part of the patriotic holiday is of course the fireworks! However, fireworks can be scary or even dangerous for your pets. The fireworks themselves can be dangerous if handled improperly and the sound can really stress out your pets. Therefore, it is very important to become educated on how to recognize the signs of anxiety and minimize its effects to ensure a great Fourth of July.
Many Fourth of July celebrations take place outdoors with grills, games, and fireworks to end the night. However, it may be a good idea to leave your pets at home if they are prone to being easily scared or conversely, overly excitable. Large crowds and loud noises can be very disorienting for your pet. If you do choose to bring your dog along to the party, make sure you keep your pet away from potential dangers like skewers or sparklers, and make sure you can handle your pet in case they get spooked.
Even when kept at home, cats and dogs can still be sensitive to the loud sounds of fireworks. This is especially true if you know your pet to be scared of thunderstorms. Pets with loud noise phobias can experience moderate to severe anxiety, resulting most commonly in destructive or escaping behaviors. Not only are these behaviors damaging to your property, they can also cause harm to your pet.
A great way to manage this is to keep your dog or cat confined to a quiet area that they are familiar with such as a crate with a towel over it. As loud noise phobias can often be coupled with separation anxiety, it may also be a good idea to consider staying with your dog or having a dog-sitter for the night. If your pet isn’t crate trained, you could also create a “white noise room” to have the same effect. A good example of this a bathroom with a fan or light music in the background.
In addition to these adjustments, there are also a variety of products that can be purchased to help keep your pet’s anxiety down. Some are ingested in the form of medications that work to keep animals calm. Others, like the Thundershirt, can be put on the dog like a vest. A quick search can also yield products that utilize natural dog or cat pheromones to have a calming effect. Each pet is unique and it may take a bit of adjustment to find the perfect method for your family.
After the celebrations are over, it is also important to check your yard and the surrounding areas for potentially dangerous objects like leftover fireworks, debris, or food. A stray firework could go off and hurt your pet or others. Similarly, any debris or old food could be eaten by your dog and cause digestive issues. By preparing ahead of time and cleaning up properly afterwards, your 4th of July celebrations are sure to be great success for you and the furry members of your family. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everyone!
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