Keeping Your Pets Calm During Fireworks
In the United States, the summer season signals the upcoming celebration of the Fourth of July. However, while the bright lights and loud noise of fireworks may be enjoyable for humans, these same experiences can trigger reactions of fear and stress in both cats and dogs. July 5th is often a frightening and busy day at the animal shelters as tens to hundreds of pets ran away from home the previous night out of fear and confusion. Here are just a few of our tips for how to help your furry friends through the fireworks with minimal stress and anxiety.
Keep Your Pet Indoors During the Fireworks
While it might be tempting to bring your dog along to fireworks displays or get togethers, the combination of bright lights, loud music, and large crowds often proves to be a dangerous mix. Keep your pets, both dogs and cats, indoors during the fireworks with human companionship for the lowest amounts of stress. Preferably, provide a safe space with the windows, curtains, and doors closed as well.
Tire Them Out Before the Fireworks
At the start of the day or before the fireworks, particularly with dogs, it is important to exercise your pet either through a long walk or play session. This way, your dog will be more tired later in the evening and less likely to become overly anxious or scared.
Distract Your Pets with Toys or Treats
Often, the best solution to avoid worrying for both humans and animals is to find distraction in something else. To ensure your dog or cat spends little to no time worrying about the noises or lights of the fireworks, try to provide them with their favorite toy or treat. Some pets may not be interested in eating when they’re frightened, so it may be wise to keep the television on at a low-level volume to drown out some of the noise as well.
Update Your Pet’s ID Tags
If you know your dog or cat is prone to escaping at the first sound of fireworks, it’s important to make sure their collar fits appropriately and is equipped with ID tags with correct and updated information.
Lastly, for some pets, desensitization can be a helpful technique to reduce your pet’s sensitivities to the sound of the fireworks. Many different methods exist such as progressive sound effects or reward-based reinforcement just to name a few.
If you have any follow-up questions or concerns about keeping your furry friends calm during fireworks season, feel free to contact us.