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Fireworks and Your Pup

It’s almost that time of year when the sky will be bursting with beautiful, bright colors. Unfortunately, those gorgeous displays also come with a lot of noise. Many city dogs are accustomed to regular noise, but fireworks can cause a lot of fear or anxiety with any pup. From cowering under the bed to destructive behavior, pups have many ways of showing you they are uncomfortable.

If this is your pup’s first Fourth of July (or just their first year celebrating it with you), then it can be difficult to tell how they will react. But there are some things that can cue you in on their comfort level. For example, if your pup seems disturbed by normal loud noises or howls at any noise in the distance, it may be a good idea to start making a game plan for a potentially rough Independence Day. But your pup may just be alright if they usually aren’t phased by anything at all.

If this is not your first rodeo with an anxious dog on a day of firework worthy celebration, but you have not had any luck in the past about calming your poor pet, read on for some tips to try out.

Obviously, taking your pet to a secluded island where no one lives to avoid fireworks is not usually an option (and even then someone might find their way there thinking it’s a great place for a private show). A room in the middle of the house that doesn’t receive as much sound from the outside world can be a good place to keep your small pet for the evening. Keep the room dimly lit, and have a radio or TV on. You could also use some soundproofing hacks on the room such as heavy curtains, thick rugs, or adding foam behind the canvas art you have hanging up.

If you’re looking for something a little more simple, and your pet is crate trained (which we highly recommend), you could apply a moving blanket (or just a bunch of regular blankets) around your pet’s crate to aid in a quiet, relaxing environment. It is also a good idea to get a calming pheromone to spray around the room or in the pup’s kennel.

It can be really hard to gauge when the firecrackers will start and stop, so try to make sure you allow your pet many bathroom breaks throughout the day in case they are too scared to come out during the fireworks. Many, many pets go missing on this holiday due to running off when they are frightened. If your pet must go outside, it is imperative that you keep them on a leash. Ensuring they are wearing an identifying collar or have a microchip implanted is also a great idea.

I know that we are still a couple months away, but if you are thinking you might need medical assistance to keep your pet safe and less unhappy during the Fourth of July, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your vet. Sometimes they want you to try something out weeks before the event to see how it impacts your pet and ensure that it will work for them when they need it. Your vet can talk with you about everything as light as OTC medications to serious sedation depending on your pet’s individual needs. And they get SLAMMED with demands for sedatives the week or two prior to July 4th, so do your vet (and your pet) a favor and get prepared ahead of time.

For those of you with doggos that can handle whatever the world throws at them: thank your lucky stars! We hope everyone else found some helpful information and stays safe during the loudest holiday!

Article by Wendi Black

May 2022




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