As we celebrate the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we're sure to have plenty of fireworks in the area, both the "Safe and Sane" variety as well as the louder and more dangerous illegal types. For pets who are unaccustomed to loud noises, the constant barrage of noise and flashing lights can create a frightening and stressful situation. Fortunately there are some things you can do to help your pet cope.
First, take your dog for a long walk well before nightfall approaches. A dog park is an excellent place to let them off the leash so that they can run some energy out. Ensuring that they're nice and tired for the evening will reduce their stress level.
Feed your dog a good meal before the fireworks begin. The "full belly" feeling that we have after eating a large meal works the same for animals, and will help them feel calmer and more docile.
Make sure that all of your pet's favorite hiding spots are accessible, whether that's a crate or under the bed. If possible, place your pet in a quiet inner room of the house with some soothing music playing to mask the noise of the fireworks.
Many pet owners find that a mild sedative will help their pet stay calm on the 4th. If you'd like us to prescribe a sedative for your companion, make sure you contact the clinic as soon as possible so that we can get everyone processed in time. Please note that if your pet has not had an exam within the last 6 months, the doctor will need to see him to make sure that the pet is healthy enough for the medication.
Once the fireworks are over, spend some time petting and holding your pet. If your dog is up for it, play a game of catch or something he enjoys inside the house. This will help put the trauma behind him.
Finally, be extremely careful about allowing your pet outside. Even opening the front door to welcome guests to your home presents an opportunity for a frightened pet to bolt. If your pet does not already have a microchip, take advantage of our discounts on microchips this month!