As pet owners, most of us are very much aware that fireworks frighten our fluffybutt family members. So what are some ways to minimize that fear during this year’s 4th of July celebration?
1. Try to make sure they’re exercised and tired out before the fireworks start. A tired dog is less likely to completely freak out.
2. Find or make a dark, safe space for them to lie in. This might be their kennel, under the foot of a recliner, in the bathtub, a corner in your bedroom, etc. Pad it with plenty of noise dampening blankets and pillows. Put their favorite toy or blanket in with them. You can even put one of your dirty shirts from the laundry in there if your scent helps calm them. Don’t close them in. They might try to chew out of the kennel or enclosure and may injure themselves.
3. Dab a drop or two of lavender essential oil on their bedding (not on the pets, themselves!). Lavender essential oil is proven to have calming properties and may allow them to relax a little more. It does not, however, work for every dog or cat, so don’t expect it to be a be-all, end-all.
4. Turn on some white noise. Turn any fans you might have on high, turn the TV up, turn on some music and crank it up, anything that might help drown out the sound of the fireworks. Start it an hour or 2 beforehand so they can become accustomed to the new noise.
5. If you dont already own one, purchase a thunder shirt and wrap them up in it or put them in an anti-anxiety wrap. The tightness of the fabric around their body may help them feel more secure.
6. Give them something to get their mind off the noise such as a Kong filled with peanut butter, a puzzle toy filled with treats, their favorite ball, or a raw meaty bone. If you’re home during the fireworks, try enticing them into playing with you.
7. If you can, bring all pets inside. Many dogs become masters of escape when the fireworks start and can get out of even what seems the most secure enclosure. Outdoor cats may run away, far away, and may not be able to find their way back.
8. Most importantly, make sure your pets have some form of identification on them, like a microchip, a city license, a tag with your address or phone number, or even just a collar with your number written on it in marker.
Try to stay upbeat and happy. Our pets take their cues from us, and if we’re worried, they’re likely to get worried or be even more worried than they already are. Try to act like fireworks are a routine thing, as such, they’re nothing to be scared of.
Fireworks sound and smell like danger to our fluffybutt family members. Even if your dog or cat is ok with thunder, they may not be ok with fireworks. Fireworks sound and smell very different from thunder. Don’t take chances, leave your pets at home!
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