The 4th of July is probably not your favorite pets’ holiday. In our house, it sends McGee our kitty hiding and Teddy our anxiety-ridden dog into a tailspin of fighting and barking at the air around him.
Dog and cats hearing are much more sensitive than ours. Therefore, all the noises associated with the holiday are so much more intense for them. Neither of them understands what is going on, so we have two very scared pets on our hands, reacting in very different manners, yet the calming technique tips are similar.
1. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercises earlier in the day.
2. Always keep your pets inside during fireworks and make sure they have their collars on just in case they run out. Close all of the windows in the house. The busiest time of year for pets being found wandering loose is the 4th of July.
3. Create a safe room or area in your house that they usually go when sacred.
4. Play calming music; this is most effective when you play the music well before the fireworks start so that your dog or cat already feel peaceful and relaxed.
5. Remain Calm; our pets pick up on our emotions, and especially when we are feeling anxious. You can be loving and reassure your pet but be careful how you do so. While we so want to hold them and tell them it is ok, in our pets’ mind that is rewarding and reinforcing their fearful behavior; in their minds, you are saying its ok to be afraid. When my dog gets anxiety, I tell him, “no worries,” and I do not hold or hug him while doing so. I say this calmly and softly. He hears no but in a different way.
6. If your pet gets so frightened that you are worried about their safety, you may need to seek professional help and have some anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
7. Have your pets microchipped, if they ever get lost; this will help bring them back to you and always keep their collars with id tags on.
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