Pet Articles: Wellness

Keeping Pets Calm During Fireworks

Summer is a treat for all the senses. It’s almost impossible for anyone not to appreciate the fresh flower smells, the warmer temperatures and the outdoor sounds of summer fun — until you get to the pyrotechnics with your furry family members.

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Fireworks may be the staple of a wonderful summer evening for you, but they can be terrifying for your dog or cat. Remember, canines’ hearing range is two times as great as ours.

Here are some tips for helping your furry family member feel comfortable and safe amid all the fireworks.

1. Stay calm

That means you. Dogs and cats are incredibly intuitive. They can sense and empathize with your fear and anxiety and adopt those feelings for themselves. Take a deep breath, be a comforting and calm pet parent, and your best pal will likely follow suit.

2. Create a safe space

Your dog or cat probably has a comfort zone they turn to when overwhelmed with stressed. Whether it’s behind the couch, under the dining room table or even in a bedroom closet, you can make it even more comfortable for your pal. Place more blankets in their go-to spot and add more favorite toys to help your furry companion feel more calm and reassured.

3. Get your home ready

It’s wise to keep your pet inside during the fireworks. You can help muffle the outdoor din by drawing the shades and curtains. Flip on some lights, turn on the TV or radio to a comfortable volume and your dog or cat may be distracted enough to ignore the scary noises outside.

4. Desensitize through training

Dogs and cats aren’t inherently afraid of fireworks. You may actually be able to train your pal to tolerate the noise. Gradually exposing your dog or cat to loud, startling sounds may mitigate their anxiety and fear when pyrotechnics occur later in their lives.

You can start by bringing your dog to outdoor concerts or pet-friendly patio restaurants where there are lots of noises, or expose your pal to smaller fireworks at a further distance. You can also gradually increase the volume of music around your home. Ideally, desensitization should start as early as possible when your furry family member is a pup or kitten.

5. Apply pressure

There are items you can buy that apply gentle pressure to your dog or cat to help soothe them. Weighted clothing can help keep your canine or feline at ease. There are even some earmuffs dogs can wear to block out loud noise.

The most important thing you can do for your furry pal during any loud celebration is to simply stay calm and make him or her comfortable. Lots of soothing pats and cuddles can work wonders. If these tips don’t seem to help your dog or cat, ask your veterinarian for other tactics that may help, such as medication. Your local Humane Society can give you helpful recommendations as well.