Independence Day is right around the corner and Americans will come together to celebrate. For many pet parents, celebrating the July Fourth holiday means attending parades, barbecues and of course – fireworks displays. The loud noises associated with fireworks and the numerous concurrent celebrations can be really scary for your pets (and many humans, too!). Here are a few tips on how to make your pets more comfortable during the holiday festivities.
Block out celebratory noises
Play music or turn on the television and increase the volume a bit. This will help to muffle some of the outside noises associated with fireworks and parties and make your pet feel more at ease. If you have a pet that is particularly sensitive to loud noises, consider asking your veterinarian for a calming aid. Many products on the market can help to ease your pet’s anxiety.
Medications and supplements for anxiety
If your pet has severe anxiety, medications and supplements can be administered before the event or as needed. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about what would be best for your pet. For cats, using innovative products like Feliway, can send calming signals using feline pheromones. Additionally, using a Thundershirt can also prove calming for both cats and dogs.
Microchips and pet identification
Be sure your pets are properly identified before and during the holiday. This includes having a collar with ID tags and, if possible, a microchip. If your pet does happen to run away during the festivities, having proper identification will increase the chances of the two of you being reunited. Unfortunately, more pets run away or go missing during July 4th celebrations than at any other time of the year.
If your pet is missing, contact local shelters and call nearby veterinary clinics as soon as possible. Make flyers with your pet’s picture and post them around your neighborhood, in local pet stores, veterinary clinics, and retail stores with high foot traffic, like grocery stores.
Keep pets indoors
Keep your pets indoors during the Fourth. If you have outdoor cats, bring them inside a day or two before the holiday. Dogs should stay inside as well – even though it’s tempting to bring them outside. Keeping them indoors protects them from the loud noises and bright lights associated with fireworks.
You may also want to consider crate training your pet ahead of time so that they have a safe place to retreat to during the fireworks. This will help them feel more secure and can prevent them from running away if they get scared.
Identify a room in your house where there are no windows or where the windows are blocked with dark blinds or shades. This helps to minimize the amount of noise and light that comes into the room, making it more comfortable for your pet.
If you must take your pet outside, be sure to keep them on a leash and under your supervision at all times. If your pet is scared, take them home or indoors for their own safety and everyone else’s.
Food hazards for pets
Food is a huge part of July Fourth as barbecues and parties all across the U.S. abound. Foods that contain chocolate, onions, grapes, or raisins are toxic to pets – as is alcohol. And contrary to popular belief it is not safe to give your dog leftover bones. Dispose of any bones or other sharp objects that could potentially hurt your pet. And don’t forget to watch the grill! Keep your pets away from hot grills or stoves that can easily burn them, especially if they are tempted by what you’re cooking.
July Fourth can be a fun time for the whole family – including your pets. And if your pet gets sick or injured during the holiday or has a hard time relaxing afterward, give us a call. Airvet is open and ready to help you and your pets, 24/7/365 – including holidays when your local vet is closed.
Celebrate responsibly, have a happy Fourth of July – and download the app to connect with us should you need anything!