Firework related anxiety is incredibly common in both dogs and cats.
As the 4th of July approaches, many pet owners find themselves worrying about how their pets will handle the added noise and stress of holiday celebrations.
By following the five safety tips below, you can reduce anxiety for your pet and enjoy the 4th of July without accidents or unhappy cats and dogs.
Create a Safe Space for Your Pet
When you feel anxious or overwhelmed, do you wish you could just curl up on your couch and escape the situation? Your pet often feels the same way.
Having a safe space your pet can retreat to when they’re feeling stressed can ease anxiety and prevent accidents such as pets escaping.
Create a safe space for your pet by moving their crate or bedding and their favorite toys to an out of the way room, such as a bedroom, away from any guests or gatherings. Close the window and any blinds or curtains to muffle noise and prevent flashing lights from fireworks from frightening your pet.
If possible, further distract your pet from the noises outside by turning on a noise machine, a tv, or a radio at a low and calming volume.
Make Sure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable
Anxiety and stress can deeply affect your pet and cause them to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. This can include indoor pets running outside or pets escaping through open doors and gates.
If the worst happens, and your pet slips away while you or your guests are coming and going, making sure they’re easily identifiable can greatly speed up the process of getting them home.
Having your pet microchipped is the best way to increase the odds they’ll return home, but if your pet is not yet microchipped, make sure they’re wearing a collar with ID tags that include your contact information.
Don’t be afraid to DIY ID tags by writing your phone on your pet’s collar if your pet does not have ID tags.
If your pet does not have a microchip and does not have a collar and ID tags, consider placing them in their safe space and closing the door to prevent escapes, but do not lock your pet away if it will distress them.
Keep Your Pets Safe if They Are Joining the Party
If your pet will be joining the festivities, you’ll need to be aware of the weather, the food your pet may be eating, and any debris or decorations that may end up within reach of your pet.
Summer temperatures can be dangerous for your pet. To prevent the risk of overheating and sunburn, make sure your pet always has access to fresh, cool water and shade. Having a route where your pet can retreat inside to an air-conditioned room is better.
Consider skipping the table scraps and instead provide treats that are meant for pets for your furry family members. Many foods commonly found at 4th of July celebrations include ingredients that can be hazardous to pets, including garlic, onions, avocados (in the form of guacamole), and desserts containing chocolate and sugar.
Debris such as the remnants of fireworks, unsecured garbage bags containing food scraps, unattended disposable plates and cups, and decorations can be dangerous to your pet if consumed, including causing intestinal blockages. Keep debris and decorations out of reach of your pet.
If you believe your pet has consumed something dangerous, contact the ASPCA Posion Control Hotline.
Please note there may be a surcharge for contacting this hotline.
Recruit Your Family and Friends to Help Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Multiple sets of eyes are always better than one set of eyes!
If you are having guests over or are attending a party with your pet, ask your loved ones to help keep an eye on your pet to prevent escapes and accidents.
4th of July celebrations can be loud, and distractions happen. Having multiple people watching your pet can lower stress and keep your pet safe.
Consider Products Meant to Calm Anxious Pets
Anxious pets may benefit from additional help in the form of products that are designed to calm dogs and cats.
These products can include compression garments such as ThunderShirts or herbal supplements that can provide safe and gentle anxiety relief for your pets.
Calming Products Recommended by CAMC
The products listed below are the ones I personally recommend for anxious pets. They can be purchased through our online pharmacy or from other reputable vendors, such as Chewy.
VetClassics Anxiety & Stress Calming Support Soft Chews For Dogs (Also available from Chewy)
VetClassics Stress Away Calming Aid Soft Chews For Dogs and Cats (Also available from Chewy)
The team at Companion Animal Medical Centre wishes you and your pets a safe and happy 4th of July!