More pets go missing during the July 4th weekend than any other time of the year so it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors. Pets are more sensitive to strong smells, loud noises, and flashing lights which are notorious for inducing fear in many pets. There are certain measures that can be taken to help avoid this stress. Here are four tips to consider implementing as we approach the July 4 holiday.
1. Make sure your pet has a comfortable, safe space they can go when feeling scared or stressed.
Create a safe environment for your dog such as a crate, basement area where the dog can’t hear or see what’s happening outside, an interior room, or a bathroom with the fan on. Make note of where your dog tends to go during a storm, and if possible, allow them access to this area and play music. Allow them to have their favorite toy to give them a sense of security.
Dogs may feel more anxious if they’re confined, so allow them to roam freely. Sometimes animals may attempt to escape during a storm or during a fireworks show. This may cause damage to the house, such as drywall and doors. It’s best to keep them in a safe environment to prevent destruction and harm to themselves.
2. Consider a Snug Garment
Snug-fitting shirts and wraps designed to calm anxious dogs are worth a try. This technique is like swaddling a baby. It feels like a pressure garment which has a calming effect. Some dogs also respond to wearing a metal fabric-lined cape which claims to protect dogs from static shocks.
3. Safeguard your pet with a collar, ID tag, and chip
Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through windows or door screens. It’s a good idea to have your pet microchipped. The chip should be registered with your current contact information. All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately.
4. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
The doctor may have more ideas for behavior modification. They can assess whether medication or natural alternatives, such as pet CBD, could be used to calm your pet.