Plan Ahead: Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

You can’t help but conjure up images of fireworks when you think of the Independence Day holiday. The two things naturally go together. While adults and older children understand the reason for the noise and brilliant color displays, dogs and cats do not and can become highly stressed by this holiday. You naturally want to protect your pet and reduce her anxiety, but you can’t control what other people choose to do with fireworks. Many communities, including Lake Elmo, have large displays while your individual neighbors may light off fireworks as well. What’s a concerned pet owner to do?

How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Happy During Fireworks Season

Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

Some pets do little more than look up at the noise and go back to sleeping or whatever else they were doing before the fireworks went off. For other pets, the mere sound of a loud boom sends them running for cover right away. If you plan to attend a community fireworks event, the best place to keep your dog or cat is at home. Your pet won’t have any appreciation for the sights and sounds, which can actually be terrifying to experience. This could also cause her to attempt to run away to escape the loud noises. It could be very difficult to find her in a crowded environment.

You also need to consider what to do to help calm your pet down due to the sounds of fireworks that he hears from home. You will know that you’re dealing with a case of anxiety when your dogs trembles or whimpers or your normally docile cat hisses and won’t let anyone near him. We encourage you to try one or more of these tips until the fireworks display is over:

  • Cover the loud noise from the fireworks with soothing music
  • Don’t punish your pet for behavior that results from fear
  • Place your dog in a separate room with the door closed while stopping in periodically to check on him
  • For fearful cats, make sure they have several hiding places to choose from when the fireworks start
  • Try to distract your dog with a treat-filled toy or your cat by engaging him in a game of chasing a string or the dot from a laser pointer
  • Consider a pheromone diffuser kit, such as Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats

Schedule an Appointment with Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo for a Highly Anxious Pet

Some dogs and cats have a naturally anxious disposition and won’t respond well to any of your attempts to calm them. If you feel that might happen with your pet this Independence Day season, contact us to request an appointment. One of our veterinarians may prescribe anti-anxiety medication or come up with another solution such as wearing a "Thundershirt". We hope that you and your pet enjoy the all-too-short season of summer!

Photo Credit: hidako / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
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24-hour care for multiple species
651-487-1941

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Oakdale, MN 55128
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Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800