The Fourth of July is a very exciting and joyous occasion for Americans. However, for our furry friends, this day and the days leading up to it, can be terrifying. The unexpected loud sound of fireworks and their irregular noise patterns often make many animals feel vulnerable and afraid. The loud sounds of fireworks can trigger our pets' “fight or flight” instinct, as well as other anxiety attacks. This can lead to behavior problems or worse, a pet that will run away out of fear in search of safety. Luckily, there are things we can do as pet-owners and pet-lovers to help ease their stress.
My number one safety tip is to make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, make sure they have a secure collar on that has your current phone number. Making sure your information on their ID tags and microchips are up to date helps ensure that, if they do run away, they have a better chance of being returned safely back to you.
Additionally, there are great holistic anti-anxiety medications and chews with melatonin or cannabinoid (CBD) oil that work wonders in calming down an anxious pet. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally found in all of our bodies and is used to tell us when to sleep and wake up. Melatonin is also used as a calming aid. If you have an animal that is only mildly anxious Melatonin chews would be the perfect way to ease their anxiety, my favorites are NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Soft Chews. If your animal is extremely anxious and can become destructive at the sound of fireworks I would recommend using a form of CBD oil. CBD oil is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Most CBD oils have little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the substance that can produce psychoactive responses (Dogs Natural Magazine). I have personally seen very anxious dogs become calm and relaxed with just a couple drops of CBD oil and feel this is a great option to try. You should always contact your vet before adding anything else into your pets diet or medication routine.
Don't forget to include your pup or cat in the party! Make the occasion special by whipping up some frozen treats to keep them occupied during the evening's events. Layer a small plastic cup or popsicle mold with peanut butter, plain yogurt, and/or pureed fruit that is pet friendly (no avocado!), top with a dog-bone cookie as the popsicles handle, and freeze until ready to use! Your pet will appreciate the treat, while being distracted from the loud noise. I have linked an article from Buzzfeed with some great recipes’ below.
Finally, if you are going away for the night, make sure your pet is as comfortable and secure as possible. Turn on the TV or classical music. Classical music has been found to have the same relaxing effect on animals as it does on humans and can ease their stress. Take your dog for a long walk before the fireworks start. If you have a cat, spend time playing with them and their favorite toy or laser pointer. These activities will help rid their systems of extra energy and stress, helping them to cope with the additional stress of fireworks. If possible, keep your pet indoors. Being in a safe space can help ease the stress as well. This will also reduce the risk of them running away.
Using these general guidelines and tips, you can help make this year's Fourth of July a happy and safe one for your whole family, including your pets! Always discuss diet and medication changes with your vet to prevent any concerns.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Celebrating!
Edited By Tara Rico
Dogs Natural Magazine article