With the 4th of July approaching, firework season can be a very scary time for our pets. To them, it can feel like the world is crumbling and we can't just tell them "It's ok! It's just fireworks!". VetCS has put some helpful tips together to assist with keeping your dog as calm as possible during those big booms and pops.
1. Create a safe space and set the mood:
The comfort of their own items may be really helpful. Whether it's their cozy dog bed or a crate with padded blankets, make sure they have access to somewhere they are familiar with. Bonus points if you stuff a Kong with their favorite food/treat and freeze it! Enrichment toys to keep their minds busy are helpful. Check that all windows are closed, and close up the curtains as well to help minimize outside sound. Maybe turn on the TV for some familiar background noise. Netflix to the rescue here, and maybe for you too?
2. Exercise your pet by tiring them out:
Take your dog on a nice long walk or outdoor adventure earlier that day. Physical activity can especially assist with reducing anxiety. Make sure to pay attention to possible high temperatures that day and offer plenty of water so they don't overheat. We recommend early in the morning or in the evening after it cools off.
3. Consider a Thundershirt, It's like a hug!
This can be effective for certain dogs and is a wrap around shirt to apply gentle pressure. Research the official Thundershirt product or check out some neat DIY options online.
4. Anti-anxiety medications/supplements
Talk with your veterinarian about any prescription medications if applicable. For some dogs, their anxiety may be severe enough to where they need extra support. For a natural option, consider VetCS CBD which has proven very effective in reducing anxiety and keeping dogs comfortable. CBD is a great option as it can be used on an as needed basis about 30-45 minutes before the stressful event. Reach out to the VetCS team with any questions.
5. Make sure their ID tags are up to date:
While this isn't a calming aid, it's important to ensure their collar is secure and all of their ID tags are current. It may also be advantageous to talk with your veterinarian about microchipping your dog. Unfortunately, it's very common for dogs to get scared of fireworks and escape out of their backyard or house. While it's not possible for everyone, consider staying home to be with them. More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other time. They may feel more secure with you around and less likely to run away!