Not every pet is bothered by all the noise and celebration of the 4th of July, but for those that are, it can be miserable. Your dog may pace, pant or just act anxious, and your cat may hide. The whole holiday week can be unsettling for everyone, but with a few steps you can reduce or eliminate your pet’s fireworks-related stress.
Make sure everyone has had ample exercise during the day time. If the weather permits maybe take your dog for a trip to the dog park, an extra long walk or a swim. For the cats, offer them some extra play time during the day.
If you are home with your pet, shut the windows and turn on the A/C. Turn the TV/radio on or a fan to generate a little extra noise. Distraction is the key; play a game of fetch or brush up on your training commands. If you are going out for the day/evening, make sure the dog and cat have a safe place to hide or are in a room that has a TV/radio on. Better yet if the dog is crate trained, crate him/her for the evening. For the dog that exhibits extreme anxiety during fireworks or even thunderstorms – try a Thundershirt (http://www.thundershirt.com). It’s a tight fitting shirt that seems to give comfort to the pets. I have seen it work on a dog, but have never thought of using it on a cat. Always avoid being outside with your pet during the peak fireworks, as some of the pets instincts are to run away.
Independence Day festivities can be a stressful for your pet, but a small amount of preparation can alleviate all or some of the stress. Wishing you and your pets a happy 4th of July.