Pet Firework Safety
If you have a dog scared of loud noises, 4th of July and dogs probably don’t mix well. Between fireworks and celebrations, this holiday weekend tends to be a noisy one and if you don’t set your pets up for success, you run the risk of turning an already stressful weekend for your dog into an awful one. We’ve gathered up our top tips for keeping your dog calm during fireworks and steps you can take if you have a cat, dog, or puppy scared of loud noises.
Take Your Dog on a Walk
Before the fireworks start, make sure you take your dog out to do its business. The last thing you want is accidents happening in the house because your dog is too afraid to go outside once the fireworks start, or to let your dog out only for them to get spooked and run off. Make sure to complete all outside business before the loud noise starts to help avoid accidents like these. Taking a walk may even tire out your pet enough that they won’t be bothered by the fireworks as they happen later on.
Provide a Quiet Place
Make sure your dog or cat has a safe place inside your home where they can hide and feel safe. Whether it’s a quiet room or their crate, creating a space where they can hide in comfort if they’re a little scared will be better for them than feeling like they have nowhere to go to get away. If you do choose to keep your pet in a quiet room, make sure to check in on them frequently and reward good behavior with plenty of treats.
Relaxing Music for Dogs
Once the fireworks are actually happening, you might find yourself with a pretty anxious dog on your hands, depending on how many fireworks are going off and how close you are to them. If your dog is having a hard time with the fireworks, consider closing blinds and curtains in your house and turning on the TV or even some relaxing music to help drown out some of the noise from outside. This Relaxing Dog Music playlist on Spotify is eleven hours long so it will last all night long if you really need it to.
Enrichment Toy Distraction
If closing blinds and curtains doesn’t help, distraction is the next best step. Enrichment toys are great ways to give your dog something to do without leaving the house. Get a toy like the West Paw Toppl and fill it with some wet dog food, or try a lick mat spread with some K95 or peanut butter to give your dog something else to think about for a while as the fireworks are going off.
Anxiety Supplements for Dogs
If an enrichment toy isn’t quite doing the trick, you may need to give your dog something else to help them calm down. Zesty Paws makes several varieties of anxiety supplements for dogs and calming bites for cats that are made with suntheanine and l-theanine to promote relaxation. You can also touch base with your vet and they can also recommend a prescription medication to help your dog’s anxiety during fireworks. Similar medicines are made for cats as well.
Pet Identification & Tracking Collars
While many pets go missing on fourth of July weekend, there are steps you can take to make sure that even if your pet does go missing you have a greater chance of finding them and bringing them home safe. First things first: Get a pet ID collar! Make sure your pet has a collar with tags attached to it and that the tags clearly display your pet’s name as well as your phone number.
Get your dogs (and cats!) microchipped. It’s usually not too expensive–around $50–and just takes a quick trip to the vet. After this, the next step is registering the dog microchip with the instructions provided by your vet. Always make sure your pet microchip registration is up-to-date and to change your information if you move or get a new phone number. An important thing to note is that this chip does not actually track your pet so if your pet does go missing, someone else will have to find your pet and take them to a vet to have the chip scanned in order for it to work effectively and get them back home to you.
If you want to be even more cautious, you can invest in a dog tracking collar. GPS dog collars like the Fi dog collar use tracking to let you see where your dog is at at all times. Unlike microchips, you can be proactive about finding your dog since you can find your dog on a map and don’t have to go roaming the neighborhood or trust someone else will find your dog and take it to a vet to have the microchip scanned. Some dog tags like the new QALO TraQ tags even have similar GPS tracking.
Independence Day may be a fun time to celebrate for humans, but it can be a stressful time for our furry companions. As we head into the holiday weekend, make sure to keep these tips in mind to help your pet have a fun weekend, too!