American Independence Day is tomorrow!
My city had their annual firework show yesterday. Luckily we were able to find an awesome spot that was close enough to see the fireworks, but far enough away that the sounds didn't bother Kitsune. July 4th is a notoriously stressful holiday for pets. The main culprit - fireworks. Even the most well adjusted pets can be startled by the loud sounds, flashing lights, and unfamiliar smell of fireworks.
Here are a few tips for keeping your pet(s) calm during 4th of July fireworks:
- Bring Pets Indoors: Keeping your pets safely indoors will reduce the risk of them running off in fear. Don't underestimate the power of fear. Even if your pet wouldn't normally leave your yard, he/she may find a way to escape if frightened enough. It's also important to keep in mind that inconsiderate party goers in your area may pester, or even harm, pets left outdoors on their own.
- Exercise Pets During Daylight Hours: Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise before fireworks are expected. Exercise can have a calming effect. Pets who don't have a ton of excess energy are usually less prone to panic.
- Reduce Outside Noise: If possible, close your windows, shades, and doors. Keeping your home closed up should help reduce loud sounds, and will also hide flashing lights and reduce strange odors.
- Create Familiar Sounds: Help to mask the sound of fireworks by playing sounds that are familiar to your pets. This could be as simple as turning on the TV or radio. Play soothing music, or something that your pet is already used too.
- Distraction: If you are staying in with your pet, you can try distracting him/her with toys or treats.
- Safe Hiding Places: Many types of pets will feel more comfortable if they have a safe place to hide when they are frightened. Let your pet hide if she/he wants too. Trying to remove your pet from its hiding place will probably stress him/her out even more. Provide your pet with a safe place to hide, such as a crate, under a blanket, etc, and only remove pets from hiding if they hide somewhere unsafe.
- Stay with Your Pet: For some animals, there is nothing that comforts them more than being with their human. If you can, stay home with your pet when fireworks are expected.
- Set a Good Example: Try to remain calm even if your pet is stressed. Pets can sense their owner's moods and if you remain calm it may help your pet calm down as well.
- Products that May Be Helpful: If you know that your pet is extremely fearful around loud noises, there are a few products designed to help keep pets calm. Thundershirts are designed to help pets with anxiety. Rescue Remedy is suppose to help stressed out pets as well. If your pet is very fearful, and you are worried that he may hurt himself, contact your veterinarian for advice. Some vets may prescribe sedatives to help keep your pet calm during times of extreme stress.
Is your pet afraid of fireworks? Do you have any additional tips for keeping pets calm during 4th of July celebrations? Comment below! I hope that everyone enjoys a fun, and safe, holiday weekend!