Tips from your Veterinarian on the fourth of July

Fireworks can be a source of fear and anxiety for our furry family members. The loud noises and bright displays during events like New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, and celebratory game days can cause distress for both pets and their owners. Here are the best practical tips to make these occasions a little easier for your beloved companions.
It’s crucial to plan ahead to ensure the safety of your dogs and cats. Make sure they wear identification tags and are microchipped, with the microchip registration containing your up-to-date contact information. This will greatly increase the chances of a safe return if they happen to get lost. Additionally, bring your four-legged family members indoors several hours before the expected start of fireworks, as unexpected early bursts are not uncommon.

Help your pets by engaging them in vigorous exercise and play sessions earlier in the day. By expending their energy, they will be more likely to feel tired and less bothered by the booming noises. Keep in mind that every dog and cat is different, so find the right balance between tiring them out and avoiding overexertion.

If your dog or cat enjoys their crate, set it up in the most sound-resistant area of your home. Covering the crate with a blanket or towel can create a cozy den-like atmosphere that some pets find comforting. If they don’t prefer a crate, choose a quiet room in your home and make it comfortable with pillows, toys, and familiar scents. Increase ambient noise by turning on the TV or playing music with loud booms to help mask the sound of the fireworks.

There are various medication options available to help alleviate anxiety in pets. While not all dogs and cats may require them, if your furry family member reacts strongly to the loud noises, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian. They can guide you on the best medication option for your pet’s specific needs. Plan ahead and obtain any prescribed medication well in advance to have it readily available if necessary.

Never take your dog or cat to fireworks displays. Ideally, it’s best to stay at home with your pets, especially if they experience moderate to severe anxiety. Being in a familiar and secure environment can provide comfort during this challenging time. If you must leave, be prepared for potential accidents or damage caused by fear-induced behavior. Remember, they are not being intentionally destructive—they’re simply scared.

Your veterinarian is a valuable resource for any questions or concerns you may have about ensuring the safety of your furry family members during fireworks events. At Dana Point Animal Hospital, we are here to assist you. Feel free to reach out to us via phone or email to discuss further and make this experience as stress-free as possible for your beloved pets.