Tips to Reduce Fireworks Anxiety

The 4th of July is right around the corner and The Pet Mechanic has some helpful tips to help keep your furbaby calm amidst the melee.

While the 4th of July and its inevitable fireworks may be more than a week away, many pet owners are already dreading their pet’s heightened anxiety. Loud noises are a common cause of anxiety in animals and can result in behaviors such as desperately trying to hide, destroying property and escaping from yards, only to get lost. There are lots of simple things you can do to help your pet deal with fireworks. By preparing in advance before fireworks start your pet will be better able to cope with the noises.

To that end, AVMA has published eight tips for veterinarians to share with clients to help keep pets calm amidst the pyrotechnics:

1. Get some exercise: Besides being a healthy thing to do, taking dogs out for play and exercise earlier in the day can help burn off extra energy, which limits their anxiety later and helps them rest more soundly.

2. Make sure their ID tag is up to date: Be certain your pet has up-to-date identification tags and their microchip has your correct contact information. Stressed pets might look for any opportunity to escape the noise, and having updated identification can ensure they will get home safely if they run away.

3. Give them a safe space: Keep pets indoors. Cats often feel most secure in a covered spot that is elevated off the ground, like a hut in an indoor cat tree, while dogs might need help finding a place 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.

4. Dress for success: Some pets seem to feel more secure in snug-fitting shirts designed specifically to comfort them during loud events.

5. Lead by example: Pets might look to humans to see how we are reacting and, thus, could be influenced by our behavior, so remain calm during fireworks. Try not to react too strongly to your pets’ distress.

6. Block out scary sounds: White noise, music, or television can be used to provide comfortable, familiar sounds that muffle the frightening, surprising noise of fireworks.

7. Bring out the toys: Introducing new toys and treats might be all the distraction a pet needs during fireworks. Likewise, food puzzles and long-lasting treats can keep them occupied.

8. Consult with a veterinarian: If the problem persists or seems insurmountable, pet owners should consult with their veterinarian about a plan that may include further behavior modification and/or medical intervention.

The Pet Mechanic is here to help!