With Fourth of July just a few days away, it is important to remember the real anxiety that many pets may experience during the fireworks celebration.
Here are a few tips to share with clients when they have a dog that suffers from anxiety during this time, and some important reminders for all pet owners!
These tips may also apply to pets that have anxiety during thunderstorms.
Tip #1: Make sure your pet has proper identification. Microchips are important in re-uniting lost dogs with their owners. If they don't have a microchip, make sure they have an ID tag on their collar, and if they don't typically wear their collar, put it on them during this time. There is a reason why July 5th is the BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR at animal shelters!
Tip #2: If you are able, stay with your pet and don't leave him/her alone. Also, if you are calm and relaxed, then they will be more likely to relax. If you can't stay home with them, make sure they cannot escape and preferably keep them indoors.
Tip#3: Turn on some music or turn up the TV to drown out the loud noise.
Tip #4: If the anxiety is severe, the pet may need medication to help take the edge off which they can discuss with the veterinarian.
Tip #5: Try the Thundershirt. The way that it snugly fits has a calming effect on some dogs and makes them feel more secure.
Tip #6: Give them something to keep them busy! A new toy, a Kong with treats, or other things to distract them.
Tip #7: If they act scared, hide, or even destruct (out of fear), don't punish them. Don't coddle the behavior of fear either, however, but remain calm yourself and try the things listed above.
Wishing you all a very Happy and Safe Fourth of July!
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Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.