The 4th of July is an exciting event that brings friends and family together. That often means people bringing their furry friends along to cabins, lake fronts, and backyards to watch fireworks. However, this can cause unnecessary stress for your dog. Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to keep your pet happy and stress free on the fourth!
It is best to keep your dog inside and not bring them to the fireworks. Dogs' hearing is far more sensitive than humans. The loud sounds can be anxiety inducing and very frightening for your pooch even if they are not normally anxious. If they are fearful of the fireworks, your pet may try to run away from them, leading them to get lost. If they have to be outside, make sure to keep your pet on a leash or contained so that they do not end up at the shelter. Make sure that your pet has the proper ID on them or that they are microchipped in case they run away. The better option is to keep your pet inside helping them ease their anxiety, but also to keep them safe.
Whether or not your pet has pre existing anxiety or not, there are a few things that you can do to help them have a better night.
Create a comfortable environment for your pet and provide them a safe sheltered place with their favorite things (maybe a blanket or toy). Close all the windows, and put on television to have some background noise to muddle the sound of the fireworks. Distract them with toys and treats that will keep their attention. Try freezing a bone with peanut butter in the middle for your dog. That will keep them occupied long enough for the fireworks show to finish. You are the most important thing to them and your calm presence can go a long way to helping them feel safe, so consider sitting with them through the fireworks display.
In extreme situations, you can ask your veterinarian about anxiety medication. If the suggestions above do not help your pup and they are still very anxious, medication may be the best choice. You can get something that is just a single use medication or something longer if your pet has anxiety outside of fireworks.
Your pets will thank you for helping them have a stress free 4th of July!
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Written by: Helen North
Animal Care Foundation
Providing elderly and disabled community members access to veterinary care for their beloved pet.