4 Tips for Your Pet’s Fourth of July Fears
We are looking forward to this year’s Fourth of July celebrations, and we suspect you are, as well. But do you know who rarely enjoys firework shows as much as we do? Pets. Why do pets become so fearful during Fourth of July firework shows? The sky lighting up and booms from the fireworks activate many pets’ fight-or-flight responses. This makes them fearful, anxious, and extremely stressed.
If your pet is one of many that isn’t a fan of fireworks, there are ways you can ease their fear and anxiety. Here are our four favorite tips for easing your pet’s Independence Day anxiety:
Tip 1: Recognize When to Bring Your Pet to See Us for Help
While it’s normal for pets to be afraid of loud noises, many pets’ fears go beyond bearable. This is when fear turns into stress, anxiety, and noise aversion. If you have noticed any of the following behaviors as a result of loud noises or thunderstorms in the past, we recommend you make an appointment to see us:
- Having bathroom accidents indoors when nervous
- Fearful body language such as tucked tail and cowering
- Shaking or shivering
- Hiding beneath furniture
- Vocalizations such as yowling, whimpering, crying, or barking
- Inability to relax including pacing, restlessness, inability to get comfortable
- Squeezing out of the door
- Sticking close by you or another family member
- A lack of appetite
How Can We Help?
We can diagnose the severity of your pet’s anxiety. From there, we can recommend medication, supplements, or other behavioral support methods based on your pet’s needs. Our team is always happy to answer your questions and talk to you about your pet’s condition, including their anxiety.
While you’re in the office, we recommend having your pet microchipped before the Fourth of July. July 5th is always the busiest day of the year for shelters across the U.S. This is because many pets get outside and the noises, chaos, and lights disorient them, resulting in them becoming lost. Microchips make reuniting with your pet easier.
Tip 2: Exercise Reduces the Effects of Anxiety
Releasing pent-up energy is a great way to help ease the effects of anxiety on your pet. So, plan a morning hike for your dog, a trip to the dog park, or another high-energy activity. A midday game of fetch is also a great option.
Exercise and mental stimulation will also aid in your cat’s reaction to fireworks. For your kitty, plan on pulling out the feather wand, wind up the mouse, or filling the treat dispenser.
Not only will exercise help your pet feel better, but it will also provide them with deeper sleep, so they’re less likely to wake up during the fireworks.
Tip 3: Give Your Pet Early Dinner and Meds Before Fireworks
Because many pets lose their appetites due to stress and anxiety related to the Fourth of July, early dinner is a good idea. Not only will eating early help your pet rest more peacefully from having a full belly, but early mealtime allows them to digest their food better.
When you feed your pet, it’s a good idea to administer their medication. Even the fastest-acting medications need about an hour to take effect. The majority of anti-anxiety medications take about two hours. This means you want to medicate your pet long before the sun sets and the fireworks begin.
Tip 4: Create a Pet-Positive Relaxation Room
Proving your pet a refuge from the light and noise of fireworks can do wonders for their peace of mind. Prepping your pet’s r-and-r room is easy. All you have to do is:
- Choose a room that your pet feels comfortable in. Rooms in the center of the house will be quieter and have less exposure to flashes. Be sure your cat can access their litter box.
- Arrange your pet’s bed on the floor in a corner away from windows. Place blankets, pillows, and other items that smell comforting nearby.
- Close the blinds and the curtains.
- Choose some peaceful music or find YouTube videos made specifically for cats and dogs.
We Hope Your Pet Finds Independence from Their Anxiety This Fourth of July
Happy Fourth of July from the Cloquet family to yours!
The past year has been stressful for all of us. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Fourth of July filled with fun, laughs, and excitement. Furthermore, we feel confident that with these tips and some help from us, your pet will have their best Fourth of July, yet. If you need to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (218) 879-9280.
Image credit: Jodi Jacobson / iStock / Getty Images Plus