There's no doubt the 4th of July is a lot of fun with family and friends. Parties, picnics, warm weather, fireworks! But for our four legged friends, the 4th can be a nightmare. More animals go missing between July 4th-6th than any other time of year. I've been talking to my friends in animal rescue and scouring the internet to come up with some great ideas for you to help out our furry friends over the 4th.
From the ASPCA directly:
If you and your veterinarian do decide that anti-anxiety mediation is your pet’s best bet, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost, give a practice dose of the medication before the big night to see how your pet responds to the medication. Second, never share the medication with another pet or give more than the recommended amount. If you do, you may end up spending the holiday at your local veterinary emergency clinic.
Also from the ASPCA:
- Something as simple as turning on some soft music and moving your pet into an interior room with no windows can be helpful.
- An anxiety vest may work in some cases—if you don’t have one, try a snugly fitting t-shirt.
This one came right from one of my rescue friends...MAKE SURE YOU PET HAS AN I.D! This way they can be returned if they do happen to run off. It is so important to make sure ALL of their info is up to date.
Another thing you can do is cause a distraction with your dog. Say you are home and your dog is getting upset at the loud sounds outside, try encouraging them to play with one of their favorite toys or balls. This way they will associate a fun activity with the scary sounds and they may not be as fearful.
Another thing that can help anxious animals is closing the windows and curtains once the fireworks begin. Remember to turn on the TV or the radio to help mask the sounds. Also, I open my closets so if the cats want to get in and hide, they can. I don't want my cats in the closet but I want them to feel like they have a safe place to go. It's all about them!
Most importantly, leave pets home during fireworks. Don't take the chance of them getting spooked and running off. We are lucky to have such great organizations like the Erie Animal Network to help reunite lost pets with their families but why chance it in the first place.
I have had cats that loved watching the fireworks and cats that would hide under the bed for hours once the booming started outside. Each pet handles fireworks differently and we need to be in tune with them and try to comfort them the best we can during the noisy holidays. Anxiety is no joke for humans and it's no joke for pets.