Boom! Bang! Screech! These are some loud noises produced by fireworks. Not only are these sounds discomforting to most pets, but they are downright frightening for many. Per Medivet, 40% of pet owners say their pets fear fireworks, according to the PDSA. So, how can people provide comfort to their pets during the noisy and challenging fourth of July weekend? Here are some basics:
- Some pets who fear fireworks will try to escape. Secure pets inside your home in an interior room, if possible, where sounds are muted. Or close windows, curtains, and blinds to block out flashes of light and to muffle sounds.
- Make sure family pets are wearing collars with your contact information. Pets who are microchipped have a greater chance of being reunited with their owners. Be sure your information is current.
- Avoid going outside with your dog during evening and late-night hours when fireworks are being set off. If possible, walk your four-legged early and give them plenty of exercise so that they can rest comfortably indoors for the evening.
- Round up your outdoor cats. Keep them inside in a safe space you’ve created for them with plenty of food and water and access to a litter box.
- Surround dogs with familiar toys and blankets and favorite treats and water for comfort.
- Turn up the television to block outdoor sounds. Put on a television station designed for dogs and featuring music meant to calm them.
- Allow pets to hide if they feel the need to lay under a bed or cuddle up in their crate. The most important thing is that they feel safe.
- Do not leave your pet in a car or bring them to watch fireworks. Nor should you leave them tethered up outside. These actions can bring on injuries.
- If your dog or cat exhibits excessive fear over fireworks, talk to your vet about safe medications or therapies to reduce pet anxiety.
Loud booms can be scary for pets, especially for those with separation or other anxieties. Since nervous pets are likely to act up when owners are absent, simply stay home with them. That way you will be able to directly address issues with your pet’s nervousness and control the surroundings. Your presence will likely reduce your pet’s anxiety and discourage negative behaviors, such as excessive barking or howling, violent trembling, loss of bladder control, chewing or destructive conduct, and other such actions brought on by firework associated stress. The comfort of your presence may make all the difference to ease your pet’s fears over fireworks.