Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department
Independence Day comes once a year and is full of fun, festivities and fireworks. If your pet has a hard time during the Fourth of July, here are a few suggestions to keep him safe and comfortable.
Keep your pet indoors
- Select a room most insulated from the noise outside. Turn on the TV or radio to provide some background noise. Close the curtains. Provide a protective comfort zone, such as under a bed or in an open closet for your cat (place food, water and litter box nearby), or kennel for your dog. Place a blanket with familiar smells in this area to help soothe your pet.
- If you’re having a party, keep your pet out of the middle of the festivities. Discourage guests from feeding your pet scraps from the barbecue – rich, unfamiliar foods can add to your pet’s discomfort.
- If your pet must go outside, keep him on a leash or in a carrier at all times. A sudden noise can cause an animal to bolt.
- Give your dog a chance to go potty before the fireworks really get underway. Your dog may be too scared to go later.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a secure collar with proper ID. If the worst happens and your pet gets loose, proper identification gives him a better chance of getting home safely.
Practice fire safety
- Keep your pet away from ALL fire activity. This includes fireworks, matches, grills, etc. Pet hair can catch fire easily. Spent fireworks on the ground can remain hot for some time and may burn a curious pet’s nose, mouth or paws.
Here are some calming solutions that can help soothe your pet’s anxieties (found at Animal Outfitters):
- Thundershirts act like a swaddle for animals. It has pressure points to help calm the animal during stressful events.
- A calming pheromone collar releases natural calming pheromones that the animal wears 24/7. The collar lasts 30 days.
- A calming pheromone diffuser releases natural calming pheromones through a diffuser you plug into the wall near the animal’s favorite spot.
- Have your pet focus on a delicious treat like a stuffed kong. This can be a great “pacifier” for your pet. There are a variety of foods you can use to stuff the Kong: pieces of their kibble or treats, peanut butter, canned (wet) food, mashed potatoes, baby food, banana, etc. Mix it, stuff it and freeze it ahead of time. Offer it to your pet before the excitement begins so the pet has a chance to become invested.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
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