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5 Firework Tips for Pets

July 4, 2017

For Independence Day, many Americans will be celebrating with fireworks—from small ground fireworks in their backyards to major displays at their local park. While fireworks are entertaining for humans, they’re not so much fun for our four-legged friends. If your pet freaks out at the sound of fireworks, try a few mindful tips to keep them calm.

5 Tips for Calming Pets During July 4th Fireworks

  1. Prep the location. Find the most soundproof room in your home. Make sure all the windows and doors are closed to minimize the sound. Put your pet’s bed and other comforting items in the room to make the location as comfortable as possible for the pet.
  1. Distract your pets. If you know the exact time that the fireworks are due to go off, start distracting your pets ten minutes before that time. Get their favorite toys out and play their favorite games. Ideally, you’ll be able to keep them distracted throughout firework display.
  1. Use white noise. Drown out the sound of the fireworks with white noise. Use a fan or a radio to minimize the firework sounds. If you’d like to play soothing music consider this list of suggestions from The Bark.
  1. Monitor your own reaction. Your pet takes their cue from you, their leader. If you’re happy and relaxed they’ll realize that they have nothing to worry about either. So, as you distract them, be sure to keep your own mood light and happy.
  1. Dress your pets in an anxiety vest. If your pet is particularly anxious try an anxiety vest. The vest snuggly fits your pet’s body and gently applies pressure, calming your beloved pet. There are vests for cats and dogs of various sizes, and they can be found at your local pet shop. Don’t have time for a trip to the pet store? You can make your own anxiety wrap with an ace bandage or a t-shirt. You can find helpful instructions from K9 of Mine.

Bonus: Firework Poisonings

A Pug races up to a bottle (which has a bottle rocket in it and about to launch), slams on its brakes, and reverses course. A neighbor was launching bottle rockets to celebrate Switzerland's National Day. The dog ran off in plenty of time and was not harmed or affected in any way by this experience.

The noise isn’t the only way fireworks can hurt your pets. Some curious pets will later try to eat the firework remnants that they find on the ground. These remains contain high levels of chemicals and heavy metals that can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, seizures, tremors, and kidney injuries. If you suspect that your pet may have eaten bits and pieces of the fireworks call your vet, a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic, or Animal Poison Control right away.

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