Tuesday, July 02 2019
Does your dog feel anxious when they hear loud noises, like thunder or firecrackers? This can be especially problematic on Independence Day! People will be setting off fireworks late into the night, and most dogs don’t like loud noises. As a pet parent, there’s nothing worse than seeing your furry friend in distress. Here are some helpful tips for calming your dog’s anxiety and keeping them safe during the holiday.
1. Wear Your Dog Out with Exercise
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before the fireworks start. Take them for a run or play a game of catch. The goal should be to make them tired! When your dog is mentally and physically worn out, their reaction to the fireworks might not be as extreme. Best case scenario, they’ll sleep through the entire fireworks show!
2. Stay with Your Dog
Don’t leave your dog alone during the fireworks if at all possible. Keep your pet indoors with a person at all times. If they’re scared, you can pet them and talk to them. Remember that your dog is looking to you for reassurance. If you’re anxious, your dog will be even more anxious. Don’t scold your dog for reacting to the fireworks as that will only make them feel more afraid.
3. Create a Safe Space
Your dog needs to have a designated area where they can go if they’re anxious about the fireworks. This area should be an enclosed space, like a kennel with blankets. Turning on a white noise machine may also help because it will muffle the noise of the fireworks. Even having the television or radio on can help your dog remain a little calmer.
4. Give Your Dog a Distraction
Give your dog something to enjoy in the midst of this stressful time. A special treat like a Kong filled with peanut butter is a great way to keep your dog busy and content during the fireworks. You can give them any type of bone or toy that’s designed to keep them chewing and occupied for long periods of time.
5. Buy Your Dog a Shirt!
If your dog is especially anxious during fireworks, it may be worth investing in a product that specifically targets your dog’s stress. The Anxiety Wrap or the ThunderShirt can help soothe your pet in times of stress. Both these products apply light pressure to your dog, almost like a hug. They find this comforting and will experience less anxiety because of it.
6. Be Prepared in Case There’s an Emergency
It doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst just in case of an emergency. Before the Fourth of July, find the name of an emergency vet in your area. Save their number and leave it with a dog sitter if you’re using one. If something goes wrong and your dog runs away or gets injured, you’ll have the vet’s number handy.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your pet free of anxiety even during fireworks! Have a happy Fourth of July!