Fireworks can be a lot of fun for humans, but not so much fun for your pets. The loud bangs can cause a lot of anxiety for those furry little bodies, especially if they’ve been left home alone while you watch the festivities.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate the stress your pet feels from fireworks.
10 tips to help your pet stay calm during fireworks:
Know the signs of an anxious pet. Yawning, panting, trembling, barking, and hiding are common signs, but your pet may also have an accident, chew or scratch furniture, destroy property, run away, or refuse to eat.
Leave your pets at home if you’re attending an event with fireworks or loud noises. You may think they’ll be more comfortable at your side, but the loud noises and crowds can easily startle them enough to run off, or make them anxious.
Try putting on some music or white noise to cover the bangs and pops, and keep your pet in a windowless room just for the duration of the fireworks. Ensure they have food, water, and some favorite toys. It’s also a great time to offer them a new, exciting toy to keep them busy and distracted.
An anxiety vest is a newer option to keep your pet calm. If you don’t have one at home, a snug-fitting T-shirt can work.
If you keep fireworks in your home, ensure they’re kept out of reach and safely stored. Pets can chew or ingest fireworks, causing illness that needs an emergency vet appointment. If your pet does treat fireworks like a chew toy, contact a veterinarian immediately. Since most fireworks occur after hours, Vetster is an easy option for a quick appointment no matter the time.
If you’re setting off your own fireworks outdoors, be sure to clean up the area from any chemicals or garbage they release. Better yet, place a protective surface down where you’re setting them off so there’s no residue in a spot your pet frequents.
It’s just general good advice, but ensure your pet is tagged and/or chipped. Loud noises can startle pets enough to make a run for it when someone opens the door, and you don’t want them running off.
Some pets have particularly strong reactions to fireworks, especially if they’re rescue animals. If this is the case, your veterinarian may suggest anxiety medication. Ensure you follow all directions provided, do not share the medication, and test it out before the event.
If you have outdoor pets, consider moving them indoors for the duration of any fireworks. The bright lights and noises will be lessened indoors.
Finally, give your pets lots of cuddles and hugs if you’re home during any fireworks, or even a loud thunderstorm! They’ll feel reassured with your touch.
Prepare yourself and your pet during fireworks season to ensure the holidays are just as enjoyable for them as they are for you. If you have any concerns about your pet’s anxiety, chat with a Vetster veterinarian about ways to help.
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