Fourth of July is always such an exciting and fun time for friends and family, but your pet might not feel the same. Loud noises such as fireworks and thunder can produce severe anxiety and fear in many pets. Thankfully, there are many ways to help your pet feel more comfortable and stay safe during a loud-noise event.
I recommend creating a safe space in your home for your pet. Use a bedroom, office, or den that has a door you can keep closed or locked during the fireworks so they cannot escape and potentially find themselves outside, lost and afraid. Make sure to provide their bedding or crate, favorite toys, and water. Play calming music for dogs and cats (available on Spotify, iCalmPet, and Pet Acoustics) or turn the TV on to help drown out some of the noise.
Keeping your pet isolated in a safe place of your home means not having to worry that they escape. Too many pets are lost on the Fourth of July, as they simply run away in fear. Many of them are injured or never found, especially if they have not been microchipped. If your pet has not been microchipped and is fearful of fireworks, you may want to consider having them microchipped before the holiday. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date.
To help ease your pet’s anxiety, you could try a Thundershirt, which provides a more immediate sense of security through the tight feel of the shirt. Make sure your pet wears the shirt in advance of the fireworks to provide the most benefit. You can also spray the shirt as well as bedding with Feliway or Adaptil, a product that utilizes natural pheromones to communicate calmness to your cat or dog, respectively. There are also natural supplements such as Solliquin that help support normal behavior and facilitate a calming effect, but may require more time before the full effect of the supplement is realized. For those pets that require more immediate and stronger relief, there are medications that your veterinarian can prescribe to reduce anxiety, stress, and fear. If your pet is already on prescription medication, please make sure you have enough to get them through the noisy holiday. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!