Every year, pet owners all over the US (and other countries that celebrate on this day) anxiously anticipate the boom of fireworks and the crackling of sparklers. While lighting fireworks is an exciting and fun way to celebrate our independence as a nation, it's not so fun for our furry (and feathered) friends.
Here are some ways to minimize stress for your animals.
1. Consider staying at home during the festivities. Your pets may be stressed out with the loud booms of the fireworks and having their loyal human there to spend time with them can provide some security.
2. Keep your pets indoor. Hanging out in the backyard seems like a great idea unless the loud fireworks begin and cause anxiety to your pets. Remember their hearing is much more sensitive than ours.
3. Tire them out before sunset. As the old saying goes, a tired pup is a good pup. I love taking my dogs to the dog park at stern grove for an hour and watch them sleep through all the commotion. The same goes for your other furry friends. Exercise is great for them and will keep them tired during the festivities.
4. Have your pet properly identified. Have your pet micro-chipped, licensed, and wearing a tag at all times. *Be sure to register the microchip with your information.
5. If your traveling out of town consider leaving your pet. Boarding your pet somewhere may make it easier for them. Consider also having a pet sitter come to your house while your away.
*At the Animal Connection we board small animals, birds, and reptiles.
6. If your pet has severe anxiety, talk to your vet. Your vet may have prescription medication that can relieve some stress. You can also try some over-the-counter anxiety relief products such as Quiet Moments, Comfort Zone, or CBD/Hemp oil products.
7. Don't make a big deal out of it in front of your pet. Dogs and other animals can often sense our stress. If they bark or howl at the fireworks, don't scold them or coddle them. Instead, act like it's any other day. If they see that you're calm about everything, they'll feel much more at ease.
8. Secure the yard. If you let your dog out to relieve themselves, make sure that the yard is fenced in. Fireworks make spook them and cause them to jump the fence. Even if your dog's never done this, it's always a good precaution. Consider keeping them on a leash when going on potty breaks.
9. Confine your pet. Consider putting your pet in a safe room or crate during parties and fireworks.
10. Give them a tasty treat. When my dogs get nervous during the fireworks, I'll give them each a bone to keep them distracted and busy. Forget about the loud noises, there's yummy treats instead!
Ultimately, all we can do is prepare for the 4th as best we can. Good luck to all the pet owners out there!