July 4th is a fun day to celebrate with cookouts, parties, and fireworks! While this is a favorite summer holiday for kids and adults, most of our four-legged fur babies do not like care for it, especially the fireworks.
This is one holiday that our animals to do not care about
I have a confession! As a kid, I loved celebrating Independence Day! As an adult with pets, I grew to DREAD it! About the middle of
To Medicate or Not?
Every year when the fireworks would start, Maggie, our Pit Bull, would display fear behavior including shaking and whining. After sharing Maggie’s behavior with our vet, we decided to medicate her to help with the stress. Oh my. It was a mistake. The medication did not help at all. In fact, it made her anxiety worse. She literally sat in my lap and shook for several hours. It was heartbreaking!
To add to the excitement, Marmalade, our Great Dane, picked up on Maggie’s anxiety. So she spent the evening whining and pacing. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have considered homeopathy for Mags.
Over the years, we have tried many tips for keeping them calm. While I don’t recommend medicating them, I do have some tested and proven tips that I use every year.
9 Safety Tips for Pets on July 4
- Give your dog plenty of exercise during the day. I walk our dogs six days a week and this day is no exception. I make sure they go outside right before dark and the fireworks begin.
- During fireworks, keep dogs (and kitties) inside. One year we went to a fireworks celebration while we were on vacation. As soon as the fireworks display began, dogs were running in every which direction. Thankfully, we had our dogs on leashes and were able to get them back to the hotel room safely.
- Provide a safe haven for them. If your dog is used to being in a crate, leave the kennel door open so that he may go in there on his own. Put a towel or blanket over the outside of the kennel.
- Keep your windows and doors closed. Close the curtains or window shades if you have them. Make sure the air conditioner is turned on especially if it is hot outside.
- Make sure they have their pet collars on. Ensure your personal information is up-to-date on their I.D. tag.
- Take them outside before the fireworks begin. I take our dogs out before the fireworks begin that way they are settled for the night. Depending on where you live there may or may not be a noise ordinance. If there is no noise ordinance in effect, fireworks can be shot off during all hours at night.
- Use background noise as a distraction. My husband and I normally stay home on this holiday and watch a movie with the volume turned up. If you will not be home, turn on some soothing music for them.
- Do not discipline your animals during this time. I know it can be hard especially when they are barking and whining. Also, try not to coddle them either. I try to distract them by playing their favorite game.
- Stay calm. Animals can sense your anxiety as well. Just pretend it is like every other day. I give our “kids” Kongs filled with their favorite treat, peanut butter. (Kongs are the best toys. They are durable and last!)
This time of year, lots of pet owners are camping or on vacation with their pets. However, try to remember that your pet does not understand what is happening outside. Loud noises frighten them and it is their natural instinct to run away. Crate training is a great way to keep your pet safe at a campground.
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