July 4th Fun & Fireworks – Pet Anxiety & Safety Tips
The July 4th Holiday is upon us, and unfortunately it is one of the busiest times for animal shelters due to the overwhelming amount of dogs lost during the fireworks & festivities. The fireworks may be fun for us, for some of our canine friends it can be downright terrifying.
During fireworks displays, or even while setting off fireworks in your backyard and neighborhood, your usually calm family pet may become extremely stressed. The stress overload can cause some pets to try to escape the house or yard. By following a few simple tips for this holiday weekend you can avoid coming home to an empty house and the anxiety of a missing beloved family pet.
Avoid bringing your pet to fireworks displays, even if they are not usually startled by loud noises or thunder. Keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe, sheltered area. Keep doors and windows closed and locked (I’ve heard stories of dogs opening slider doors or even jumping through windows to escape). Leave the TV on or play soothing music at a normal level to distract him from the noise outside. Prepare a safe “den” for your pet. If they choose to hide under the bed, in their crate or somewhere else in the house, allow them to. If your dog is not crate trained, and you would like him to be please visit our comprehensive crate training guide.
Feed your pet before the displays begin and keep a special chew treat on hand as a distraction. Nervous or stressed dogs may chew to ease anxiety. Make sure to provide proper chew toys and make sure all cords and other dangerous objects are out of reach. Try a calming aid to help calm anxiety, or ask your vet for medication to help with your pet’s noise phobia.
Do not leave your pet outside during the festivities. Even with a fence or a tie-out a dog can go to great lengths to escape the source of their anxiety. Always make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted dog collar with up-to-date ID tags. Consider having your pet microchipped for extra security. Try not to reward anxiety with extra attention. It may be hard not to cuddle or fawn over your pet when he is scared, but do your best to ignore axious behavior or practice distraction techniques to turn their focus away from commotions.
Follow these simple steps to enjoy a worry free Independence Day. The knowledge that your family pets are safe and sound will make your holiday all the more fun. Have a great holiday weekend!
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