July 4th is a time for celebration with family and friends with cookouts and fireworks…. BUT, your dog and cat friends may NOT feel like celebrating.
If you did not know, July 4th and 5th are the busiest days at emergency hospitals and animal shelters because of the noise of the fireworks, as well as, the BBQ Food scraps that can harm them. Many dogs will panic SO much that they go over fences, bust through windows or doors, or pull out of their collars and run off–unfortunately possibly injuring themselves and, sometimes, even getting hit by a car. Cats also can be affected but tend to hide rather than run.
Some tips to help your fur baby:
1) KEEP INDOORS. They should be in a kennel/crate or in room near the center of the house like a bathroom. Having music or the TV on can help cancel some of the noise from the outside. A person at home can also help.
2) MICROCHIP and PHOTOS. In case they get lost, having a permanent way to identify them will get them back to you quicker. Any pet that is found will be scanned for a microchip at a veterinary hospital or humane society and owners can be found and contacted. Make sure the contact information is up to date too!
3) NO PEOPLE FOOD. All those yummy smells are very tempting so dogs want to indulge–they may get into the trash, get too close to the barbecue grill, snatch food from unsuspecting humans, or even jump on to the table. Sometimes WE are at fault by giving in to the “sad, starving eyes”. If you do not want your dog to experience severe intestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea, pain) or want to spend a lot of money at a veterinary hospital, then be careful.
4) NON MEDICATION ALTERNATIVES for anxiety. These can help in mild cases of anxiety: Synthetic pheromones (Adaptil for dogs/Feliway for cats)–collars and room diffusers. Natural remedies such as Rescue Remedy, Composure chews, Anxitane. Thundershirt. AND many others….including behavior modification techniques for future episodes
5) MEDICATIONS. For the severely anxious. There are many options available depending on your pets health and individual reactions to the noise. You should discuss this with your veterinarian so the best medication for your baby is prescribed. A VERY IMPORTANT thing is to get the medication at least a week before and test the effects because individual reactions vary.