As you know, the 4th of July is a time for friends, fireworks, and lots of celebrations. While all of that fun can be great for humans, it can be really stressful for our furry friends.
Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe and calm on the 4th of July:
- Create a safe space. A quiet room away from any windows is a good place for your pets to relax during the fireworks. Make sure they have plenty of comfortable bedding and some of their favorite toys.
- Play background noise - Leave the stereo, TV, or familiar playlist on. The loud noises from fireworks can be really scary for pets, so closing curtains and playing background noise can help to drown the noises out.
- Exercise early. A tired dog is a relaxed dog! Getting some exercise out of the way early in the day will help them to relax and sleep through the noise of the fireworks.
- Microchip. Make sure microchips and ID tags are up-to-date. Just in case your pet does manage to escape, it's important that they have a way to get back home. More pets end up in shelters around the holiday than any other day of the year. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Give a calming supplement. If your dog is showing signs of anxiety, such as panting, pacing, or whining, talk to your veterinarian about natural ways to help them cope. Giving a calming CBD supplement like BakedBones about 30 minutes before festivities begin can help your dog stay calm and relaxed.
- Keep pets indoors. This is especially important if you're going to be setting off fireworks yourself. Even if your pet is usually good at staying close by, the loud noises and bright lights can be too much for them to handle, and they may try to run away.
- Provide a Distraction. Help your pet stay occupied with a new toy, a frozen lick mat, or an enrichment activity. A Kong filled with peanut butter can offer the perfect entertainment.
- Desensitization training. Starting well in advance, talk with your trainer about ways to gradually desensitize your dog's fear of loud noises by slowly exposing them to similar sounds in a safe and controlled environment. You can start by playing a short recording of fireworks at a low volume and gradually increase it over time. Be sure to reward your pet for staying calm during your training sessions.
- Consider boarding or hiring a pet sitter. If you're going to be away from home for most of the holiday, it's a good idea to board your pets or hire a trusted sitter to check on them.
- Ask for help. Ask family and guests to also help out. It's always good to have an extra set of eyes on your pets, especially if you're going to be occupied with guests.
I hope these tips help you to have a safe and happy 4th of July with your pets!