Fireworks Can Scare Your Pet

It’s that time of year again.  Fourth of July celebrations are happening everywhere you turn, with loud noises and displays of fireworks overhead and on the ground.  If you have a pet that is bothered by thunderstorms, you can be sure the fireworks you love so much will cause just as much high stress.

Here are a few suggestions to help keep your animal calm.

Before the event:

  • Take your dog for a long walk, have some extra playtime with your cats. Do your best to wear them out so they’ll be calm and tired.
  • Feed your animals and make sure they have plenty of water for the evening.
  • Create a comfortable safe place for them to hide if they get frightened.
  • Close all doors and curtains before dusk so they can’t see the light flashes of the fireworks.
  • Turn on the TV or some music to create “white noise” which can drown out some of the booming sounds of the fireworks, and leave it on until the fireworks are over.

During the event:

  • If you can stay home with your pet, do that. Your calm demeanor can go a long way to help lower your animal’s stress. If your cat puts its head in your armpit or your dog wants to be held, let them have that luxury. Don’t reprimand them; instead, talk to them in a calm voice and let them know it’s going to be okay.
  • Never take your pet to a fireworks display. If you plan to go out to watch the fireworks, make one of the following arrangements:
    • See if a friend who lives away from the noise can keep your pet while you’re gone.
    • Take your pet to a Pet Resort or boarding kennel for the night, preferably one that is not near the fireworks display.
    • Find a dog sitter to come stay at home with your pet and keep it company for the evening.
  • Put a Thundershirt (or similar item) on your pet to give them the feeling of being held. This will frequently keep your pet calm. (Be sure that you try this out on your pet days to weeks before the event so it is familiar to your animal.)
  • Medication can also help keep your pet calm. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what he or she recommends.

And enjoy the fireworks, knowing you’ve done your best to keep your pets safe!

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Here are some links that might give you other ideas on what to do to help your pet get through a night when fireworks are booming:

Cesar Millan

From Phoenix AZ and Vancounter Canada 

From the UK

And one more (I don’t know where this is from)