We all love our furbabies, and we try to keep them feeling loved and safe. Unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how diligent we are, there are times when they can get pretty stressed out.
Arguably, the worst of the lot are Independence Day celebrations. While it may be fun, relaxing, and even reduce stress for us, even the calmest of dogs and cats can get extremely frightened by all the loud booms and flashes of light. If you have an inherently anxious pet, it can be exponentially worse.
From bathroom accidents to running away from home, fireworks can cause a lot of issues for pet owners. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dog person or a cat lover; if you’re looking for help keeping your furry friend calm this Fourth of July, we’ve got some tips you may want to consider.
Recognizing the Behavior
Whether you’ve had your pet for a long time or you just adopted it, you must know how to spot the signs that they’re anxious, scared, or stressed out. Some common indicators that you need to help calm them down include shaking, heavy panting, hiding, pacing, barking or meowing excessively, and trying to escape. As soon as you detect any of these signs, you should take the steps below.
Create a Safe Space
Wrap them up in a Thundershirt and put them in a quiet room with soft music playing in the background, their bed, their favorite HugHound toy, and some treats close by. If the celebrations get too loud, join them and reassure them with plenty of petting and sweet talk.
Supplements and Meals
Products like fluoxetine for cats and dogs increase their serotonin levels, which naturally reduces anxiety and aggression. Additionally, a good meal followed by treats can keep them in higher spirits.
Taking your dog for a long walk or engaging in some active playtime with your cat before the fireworks start can help tire them out and make them more relaxed.
During the Fireworks
Stay Calm and Comforting
Remain calm and cool. If you’re happy, your pet will be too. Additionally, try to engage them in their favorite activities or snuggle with them to help distract them.
Keep Them Indoors
As much as possible, keep them inside during the celebrations. Close all doors and windows, and draw the curtains to reduce noise and bright flashes.
Ensure that your pets are properly identified with up-to-date ID tags. If they do escape, this will make it easier for neighbors or shelters to return them safely.
Plenty of Attention
After the celebrations are over, give your pet plenty of attention and love. They may still be anxious and need some extra comfort from their favorite human.
Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior in the days following the celebrations. Any changes in eating, drinking, sleeping, or bathroom habits could be a sign of trauma.
Consult a Veterinarian
If your pet seems unusually stressed or anxious, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. They may be able to provide additional tips or even prescribe medication if necessary.
It’s natural for us to want to include our pets in all of our celebrations, but sometimes it’s just not possible. By recognizing their behavior, getting prepared, and providing comfort during and after the celebrations, we can ensure that our furry friends are well taken care of even during the loudest and brightest of festivities.