The 4th of July can be a day for fun and celebration. But for those of us with pets, it’s often a time of stress. We’ve put together some tips to help you and your pets get through the holiday as smoothly as possible.
Plan your day
When possible, walk your dog before it gets dark, which is when most fireworks are likely to happen.
Secure doors and windows
Loud noises can spook and disorient your pet and make them want to flee, which is why animals shelters see a lot more pets around the 4th of July. Keeping windows and doors shut will ensure your pet can’t escape.
Make a safe space
Keeping your pet in one room of the house or apartment may help them feel more secure. If the fireworks noises are worse at the front of your house, choose a room that’s farther back. Provide them with their favorite blankets, beds, and toys to comfort them.
Fun and games
Puzzle toys or other treat dispensers can distract your pet from the noise and give them something fun (and tasty) to focus on.
Turn up the music
Playing music or having the television on can help drown out the scary sounds of fireworks. Just make sure you’re not watching or listening to anything equally as scary! Classical music or light comedies might be soothing. Every pet is different, so if trying to cover up fireworks with other sounds causes them more anxiety, or they only like jazz, listen to your pet!
There are many calming chews, treats, sprays, and more available over-the-counter at your local pet store that may help. Your pet may also benefit from a Thundershirt (available for both cats and dogs).
Ask your vet
If you’ve tried your best and your pet is still very anxious, you may want to ask your veterinarian about prescribing sedatives. Sedatives can be a temporary solution to a fear of fireworks, but are very effective when nothing else works.
Microchip your pet
Animals can get spooked, escape their home, and get disoriented during the commotion of the Fourth. Pets that are microchipped have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners. If your pet goes missing, please check our Found Pets page, which is updated every hour.