Fireworks are a staple of the 4th of July, but they can be a huge source of anxiety for our pets. Because the loud noises can be scary and disorienting, shelters usually see an increase in lost animals around this time. Here are a few tips to minimize your pet’s stress and keep them safe:
Avoid being outside after dark, when fireworks are likely to be starting. Plan any necessary walks for earlier in the day. Although you may feel that you always have a good grip on your dog’s leash, it’s possible to lose control of a panicked dog.
Secure doors and windows
A spooked pet can find ways through a door or window screen that they otherwise might not attempt. Keeping doors and windows shut will minimize the chance that your pet can escape if they get scared, and will block out noise at the same time.
Create a safe space
Your pet may benefit from being kept in one small room. This will help them feel safe and secure. Provide blankets, dens, or other places to hide.
Puzzle feeders and other enrichment toys will give your pet something to keep their mind off the noise.
Over-the-counter calming aids
Ask your vet
If your pet has severe anxiety that isn’t helped by any of the above tips, your veterinarian can prescribe sedatives to help them get through the 4th. Remember, only give your pet medication at the direction of your veterinarian.
Tag and chip
Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a visible ID tag, and has a microchip. Check that the contact information associated with both is up-to-date with your current phone number.