July 4 is upon us, which means picnics, barbeques, and … fireworks. Fireworks are exciting for us, but our pets may not understand what is happening and can be overtaken by anxiety and fear because of the loud noises. If you know that there will be fireworks nearby, it is best to try to prevent noise anxiety before it occurs. The Thundershirt is a great non-medicinal product that uses gentle pressure to ease a dog’s anxiety. There are also several treats and supplements available to help calm an anxious dog or cat; a few of our favorites are Rescue Remedy, Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming treats, Aroma Dog Chill Out and Cat Nap, and Comfort Zone with DAP and Feliway sprays and diffusers.
If fireworks make your pet anxious, be wary of his or her ability to run away during a bout of noise anxiety. Make sure all doors and gates are closed. If your dog is on a leash or harness, make sure you are holding the leash tight and that he or she can’t slip their collar (if they can, it may be time to try a martingale-style collar, which has an extra non-slip loop). Even if you have a pet that would not normally run away, if their anxiety takes over they may act on their instinct to run for safety. More pets are lost over the Independence Day holiday than any other time of year; take precautions to keep your pets safe during July 4th festivities.