Pets and Fireworks: Keeping Everyone Calm and Happy
You may be excited to wish America a happy birthday, but chances are that your pets are not so stoked. Pets and fireworks tend to go together like oil and water. Here is Leon Valley Veterinary Clinic’s advice for keeping everyone calm, cool, and collected this fireworks season.
What You Can Do About Pets and Fireworks
Fireworks tend to be a huge source of fear and anxiety for pets. The sudden and unpredictable loud noises are scary enough on their own, but add the bright lights and vibrations and it is enough to make many of our furry housemates run for cover.
Pets who are fearful may hide, but they may also try to run, resulting in lost and injured pets. They may also become desperate to get away or hide, resulting in damage to property or injury to themselves.
The combination of pets and fireworks is often a bad one, but there are definitely things that you can do as a pet owner to help ease your animal’s fears and keep them safe.
Be sure to:
- Avoid taking pets to crowded parties or barbeques that can increase anxiety
- Do not leave your pet outdoors unattended
- Provide a safe, quiet location in your home such as an interior bathroom where sound and noise will be minimal
- Be sure your pet has access to their crate or otherwise familiar spots
- Play calm music or a television show to help drown out some of the noise
- Close the blinds to eliminate bright flashes of light
- Try to remove dangerous or fragile items from your pet’s access
- Try a Thundershirt to provide calming pressure
- Desensitize your pet to the sound of fireworks by playing the sounds at a low volumes at other times
- Check that your pet’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date just in case
- Encourage your pet to get lots of exercise on days you know that fireworks are likely
- Provide special toys and treats to distract as much as possible
When That’s Not Enough
When it comes to pets and fireworks, though, sometimes doing all the right things just isn’t quite enough. Some pets have very deeply embedded fears that all the soothing in the world isn’t going to fix.
For some pets, referral to a board certified veterinary behaviorist may be in order. For less severe cases, anti-anxiety medications and/or sedatives may be effective. It may take some experimenting to find a dose and combination of strategies that works best for your pet.
When it comes to pets and fireworks, our veterinary staff wants to do whatever we can to make the season celebratory and enjoyable for all. Please call us if you need help with this problem. Your pet deserves a happy summer, too.