It’s that time of the year again. In our neighborhood, we have lots of folks who celebrate Indepence Day in a BIG way! This year they started on Wednesday night with their bottle rockets and each night they set off different fireworks. By the 4th of July, there isn’t a second of quiet on the block. It’s great fun for humans, but fear and anxiety inducing for dogs – and cats too. We probably won’t find Carmen, our cat, until next week sometime, but this year we are trying out some new ideas from Dr. Jennifer Adolphe.
Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, a Ph.D. pet nutritionist for premium quality, nutrient-rich pet food Petcurean, knows all too well the risk. Many years ago, she had one of her three dogs with her at a lake, when fireworks went off right beside them. Her pup bolted straight for home, and in the most direct path possible, across roads and yards. She felt lucky that her beloved pup was fine and anxiously waiting for her at home, but she has since taken precautions for her three dogs, and she shared some tips with me on keeping your pets safe during fireworks:
- Control the noise: Try to block out the fireworks noise with other noises they are familiar and comfortable with – like the TV or some music. You can do this whether you are at home, or out – just leave on for them
- Desensitize them to fireworks: You can mimic the experience by playing fireworks CDs or YouTube videos in advance, and treat them as they are playing. This will help lessen their anxiety, and reaction, for the actual fireworks
- Create a safe space: Many dogs feel secure in their crate, and you can make it even cozier by putting a blanket over it and providing a few of their favorite toys
- Let them out in advance of the festivities: Plan your dog’s bathroom break before the fireworks, so they will be indoors / contained when they start- and if you have an outdoor cat, bring them inside
- IDs are a must: The best place for your dog during fireworks is at home, it is safer for everyone. But if you have them out, make sure they are contained, and/or leashed, and are microchipped and have ID tags