The Fourth of July is Fido’s least favorite day of the year. Fireworks mean that more pets go missing during the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of the year. After you double-check that your pet’s microchip information is up-to-date, here are some more ways you can keep your pets safe and calm during a stressful time.
For humans, the Fourth of July is a day full of barbeques, pool parties and patriotic fun, but for many dogs, the holiday is downright terrifying. The culprit? Fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can send dogs into a state of intense anxiety, which can lead to panting, pacing, destructive behavior, and, in some cases, even running away. In fact, more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. With that scary fact, here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association and some recommended products for keeping Fido safe and calm this Fourth of July.
Get plenty of exercise. Taking your dogs out for play and exercise earlier in the day, besides being a healthy thing to do, it can help burn off extra energy, limiting your dog’s anxiety later and helping them rest more soundly at home. Cats can also benefit from an extra play session, too.
Give them a safe space. As much as it’s possible, keep your pets indoors, ideally in settings where fireworks noise will be at a minimum. Cats often feel most secure in a covered spot that is elevated off the ground, like a hut in an indoor cat tree, while your dog might need a little extra help and encouragement finding a good spot to retreat.
Try to find a spot in the quietest, most secure room possible to put your dog’s crate or bed. Keep windows and curtains closed to further muffle sounds, and take some time to see what works best for your dog, such as lowering the lights or covering the crate with a blanket. If you have a TV or radio in the room, tune in something soothing and turn the volume on low to muffle the pops on cracks.
Dress for success. Some pets seem to feel more secure in snug-fitting shirts designed specifically for this purpose. From experience, I recommend the Thundershirt. Here’s a link to it on Chewy.com.
Set an example. Our pets may look to us to see how we are reacting and be influenced by our behavior, so try to remain calm during fireworks—even if they bother you as well.
Occupy pets with new—or favorite old—toys. You can help distract your pets by introducing new toys and treats into the house. Food puzzles and long-lasting treats, for example, can be a great way to keep your pets distracted from noises that frighten them.
Consult with your veterinarian. If the problem persists or seems insurmountable, talk to your vet about a plan that may include further behavior modification and/or medical intervention such as Trazadone (doggy Xanax). Make that appointment as soon as possible to ensure a plan is in place before the fireworks begin.
Keep Fido calm with these products from our partners.
NuLeaf Pet CBD
NuLeaf Naturals’ Pet CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes which work synergistically together. Most animals have an endocannabinoid system and can benefit from CBD. This CBD oil is beneficial to a variety of animals and can assist with reducing anxiety and minimizing physical discomfort. Each drop has 3mg of CBD and can be added to your pet’s food, favorite treat, or fed directly for natural and safe relief.
Austin and Kat
Like a calming cup of tea…for dogs! Austin and Kat’s No More Wiggles formula combines whole plant, minimally processed hemp extract with soothing botanicals and adaptogens. Sustainably sourced, natural ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and passionflower work together with CBD to help your pet find peace and tranquility in all kinds of exciting situations. Made in small batches in Seattle, WA – for our dogs, and yours.
Petralyte is a vet-formulated electrolyte supplement and nutrient product specially tailored for dogs. Our formula helps dogs stay hydrated so they can be healthier and more active, while at taking in nutrients faster and more efficiently. The package is a single-use portable powder-sachet and all you need to do is mix it into a bowl of water or sprinkle it on their food. It’s super easy to use and comes in three animal-favorite flavors: chicken, beef, and turkey. It was created for dogs of all energy levels and comes with a number of added health benefits to support the kidney, bladder, vision, muscle, and heart.
This 4th of July, Kradle will keep your furry family member calm, happy, and safe during the festivities. Kradle is the first calming brand focused solely on reducing stress and anxiousness in pets. On the 4th when the booms begin, keep your dog chill and distracted with a long-lasting Chiller, available at Walmart.com and in select stores. The Chillers have a proprietary BotaniTek™ blend of proven natural calming ingredients to relax your dog and tastes delicious.
Brave Paws provides a helpful, holistic, and healthy solution for dog anxiety, perfect for combatting the stress caused by 4th of July fireworks. Anxiety and Stress Support Chewables are formulated with a clinically studied and patented botanical blend, and are veterinarian recommended to promote a sense of calm in dogs and ease canine anxiety. With their strong passion for pets, people, and the planet, Brave Paws uses sustainably sourced, plant-based ingredients. Go to mybravepaws.com for more information.
Most of us know dogs can hear better than humans. But, did you know that they can hear five times better than us? That’s why hearing protection is so important – it’s a given that the loud noises will damage a dog’s hearing as well as trigger or increase anxiety. Hence, CrittEar was born. CrittEar features in-ear hearing protection for dogs – and it comes in sizes that fit dogs from Chihuahuas to Great Danes! Best of all, it’s made of special memory foam that contours to your dog’s ear canal for a comfortable and safe fit.
About the Author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.