With the 4th of July approaching, pet owners should anticipate lots of fireworks. Planned firework events and neighbors shooting of fireworks in the backyard will likely be a common sight and sound this week. Festive fireworks can cause anxiety for pets and their owners alike. Cats and dogs can have phobias of loud noises. Perhaps their phobia only emerges when the fireworks pop and fizz.
If you have a pet with a fear of fireworks the summer holidays can transform from fun to a big source of stress. Pet owners may feel helpless when fireworks are scaring their pets. We obviously can’t cancel all of the fireworks celebrations or prevent our neighbors from setting off fireworks close to our homes. We can provide our pets with some forms of comfort.
First, let’s go over some signs that your pet may be frightened by fireworks.
- Trembling or shaking
- Nervous behavior such as frantic chewing of nails or fur
- Barking, whining, or growling
- Attempting to hide or escape from enclosure
- Uncontrolled urination or defecation
- Any other unusual behavior may indicate a fear of fireworks. You know your furry friends – trust the signs they give you!
What can you do to help you pets feel safer?
Stay home with your pets if possible. Your presence can comfort and reassure your pets. Your pets trust you and know that you won’t let harm come to them. Of course, it’s not possible to be home at all times. There are other steps you can take while at home or away to make a more comfortable environment for frightened pets.
- Keeps pets indoors. Inside, your pets will be protected from any physical dangers of fireworks. They will also be unable to run away as a flight response. Your home may also muffle some of the noise and strange smells that accompany fireworks.
- Provide a “safe” place within your home. This might be your pet’s favorite bed. Or it may be a secluded location in your home where your pet can feel protected and hidden from the danger they sense from the fireworks. Make this area comfortable by placing a blanket or favorite toys there and familiarize your pet with this “safe” place before the fireworks start.
- Take your dogs for a long walk before the fireworks to give them plenty of time to go to the bathroom. A long walk will also help to relieve extra energy. Provide your cats with easy access to a litter box. You may want to put a litter box near your cat’s “safe” place.
- If you do take your pets outside during fireworks, keep them on a leash or in a carrier, so that they do not run away from fear.
- Check the local event calendars to determine when the fireworks will be set off, so you can plan!
You cannot remove fireworks from the 4th of July or the summertime, but you can take steps to protect and comfort your pets!