Most people look forward to the 4th of July holiday. There’s parades to see, carnivals to attend, time off work, and frequent displays of colorful fireworks. However, dogs and cats don’t understand the reason for the disruption in their regular schedule or why they’re hearing loud noises from fireworks so often. Some pets develop severe anxiety because of it. Dealing with the anxiety caused by fireworks can be especially challenging because you can’t control whether other people or groups choose to light them off. You can only try to make fireworks season more comfortable for your pet.
Independence Day Safety and Comfort Tips for Pet Owners
The loud noise caused by fireworks doesn’t seem to bother some pets. It might startle them for a second, but then they return to what they were doing before the loud boom. Other dogs and cats, especially those already prone to anxiety, will run away from the sound to find a place to hide. If your pet is like this, you might not see her until after the fireworks are over. Some other behaviors your pet might display that indicate anxiety include whimpering, trembling, growling from dogs, or hissing from cats. If your pet responds in this manner, try these tips:
- Play soothing music as loud as you can to drown out the sound of fireworks
- Plug in a Feliway or Adaptil diffuser for cats or place a thundershirt on a dog
- Make sure that your pet has plenty of accessible places to hide if desired
- Consider placing your pet in a separate room with food and comfort items until the fireworks end
- Do your best to distract your pet by talking to him or playing a game
For fireworks events in the community, plan to leave your dog at home if you attend. The noises will startle her and cause her to act in unpredictable ways, including possibly running away. Her barking and whining could also be an annoyance for other people trying to watch the fireworks display.
If you’re traveling or hosting people for the Independence Day holiday, try to keep your pet’s schedule as normal as possible. Continue feeding him the same food and ask that others don’t feed your pet anything. Although they may mean well with sharing a treat, the major shift in diet could cause stomach upset and other health issues for your pet.
Let Us Know if You Need More Help with Your Pet’s Anxiety
Some pets are so prone to anxiety due to fireworks that none of these tips will help them for long. They will also react poorly to thunder and other loud and unexpected noises. Please don’t hesitate to contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic if you need additional help managing your pet’s anxiety this summer.
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