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July 03, 2018
As the nation’s birthday rolls around, it means lots of fireworks. While the fizz and boom may be exciting to you, for pets, fireworks cause stress and anxiety. Your furry family members are not able to understand what’s causing the loud noise. If you have a pet but still want to enjoy the fireworks this summer, check out these tried and true methods for helping pets sleep during fireworks.
How do you know if your pet is suffering from anxiety caused by fireworks? Some pets will urinate inappropriately, which is a good indicator that they are not comfortable. Other pets will tremble or shake, or tense up their muscles when fearful. Your pet may also pant even though they may have just drank water, a sign that the panting is anxiety-induced. In general, if your pet is acting differently than usual when around fireworks, it’s a good sign that they are suffering from anxiety.
For pets that suffer from extreme anxiety when fireworks are shot off, anxiety medication might be the best solution. You can start by trying melatonin, which according to PETA is recommended as a natural, calming supplement for dogs. The recommended dose is 1 to 4 mg, depending on the size of your dog. You should give it to your pet at least 30 minutes prior to the fireworks display to give it time to kick in. You can purchase melatonin at any health food or drug store. If your pet needs something stronger, speak with your veterinarian. As noted by Pet MD, prescription meds for pet anxiety include:
You will need a prescription to obtain these drugs for your pets. Plan in advance by scheduling an appointment with your pet’s vet to discuss the use of anxiety medications or other alternatives.
If your precious pup is struggling with the sounds of firecracker pops, one solution is to purchase anxiety jackets for dogs. The most popular brand is called Thundershirt, which is a garment that fits snuggly around your dog’s torso. The idea is that this snug fit offers a sense of calming, similar to swaddling an infant. Using an anxiety jacket can help your dog feel safe and secure without the use of drugs, or you having to flee town whenever there are fireworks. Plus, the jacket is great for thunderstorms, sporting events, social gatherings, and other situations where loud noises might be stress inducing.
If you know that fireworks and pets don’t mix in your household, it may be a good idea to stay indoors this Fourth of July. But what if your neighbors are kicking it up a notch by popping firecrackers in their front yard? Play your pup some sounds they will like, such as “Through a Dog’s Ear.” This listening program is designed by veterinarians to specifically calm a pet through music. Along with this pet friendly soundtrack, use dark curtains to protect the pet from seeing the explosions in the sky.
As a pet owner, it is your priority to protect your pets when they are in danger or discomfort. Whether they respond well to the Thundershirt or anxiety-reducing pet sounds, we hope you have found a solution for helping your pets sleep through the fireworks this Fourth of July.