It’s hard to believe summer is already here, but the days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the 4th of July is just around the corner. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services understands canine noise aversion and pet firework anxiety. We know just how scary fireworks can be for pets. These tips will help you make a plan to keep your pets calm this summer before the fireworks illuminate the night sky:
Long before the Independence Day celebrations start, you should have a plan to make sure your pet is ready for an unexpected situation. Prepare your home (and your pet) by doing the following:
- Have your pet microchipped to help your chances of a reunion if your pet gets scared and runs away
- Buy an updated tag and collar with your current information (if needed)
- Take current pictures of your pet in case you need to search for them later
- Check that all fences, gates, and doors are properly enforced to limit escape options
- If you think your pet might run away after getting spooked, you might want to keep them in a crate until the show is over
Help Them Adjust to Fireworks
Part of the reason fireworks are so anxiety-inducing for pets is because they are rare. If you occasionally play videos with fireworks throughout the year, it can help your pet get used to them. You can even offer your pet a treat when you play the video so they start to associate the sound with a positive experience.
Create a Safe Space
You might not have control over the fireworks, but you can create a space that makes your pets feel safe. If possible, build them a comfortable nest in an area that is far away from a window. Bathrooms, large closets, or even basements often work well. If your pet feels comfortable inside of a crate, move it to this safe spot and fill it with comfortable bedding and items that smell like you. Place toys and treats nearby. Play soothing music or put on your pet’s favorite movie to try to drown out some of the noise of the fireworks.
Tire Them Out
It is a good idea to get your pet as tired as possible before the fireworks start. Go out for a couple of extra walks (not when it’s too hot outside). Play their favorite game, or take a trip to the dog park. The more energy your pet expels during the day, the less they’ll have to notice the fireworks at night.
Try an Anti-Anxiety Wrap
Anti-anxiety wraps like Thundershirt can help many dogs and cats feel less anxious during storms, fireworks or other scary events. Thundershirt comes with a money-back guarantee since it doesn’t help every pet. You can also create your own DIY anti-anxiety wrap hack using this video.
Talk to Your Veterinarian About Fireworks Anxiety
If your pet is still anxious even with all these tricks, it might be time to call the vet. Sometimes pets need medication to get through the holiday, or anti-anxiety meds to help deal with their anxiety. The vet might have additional tips on quelling pet firework anxiety before the noise starts. We want your whole family to be able to enjoy the holiday.
From all of us at OVRS, we wish you and yours a very happy 4th of July. We are committed to helping you provide the best life for your pets all year long. From our specialty veterinary services to our catalog of pet ownership blogs, we always have the resources you need.