In honor of the Fourth of July holiday next month, we wanted to take a moment to discuss the rather hot topic of pets and fireworks. While the flashing colors and booming sounds of fireworks create a spectacle in the sky for humans, it can cause an overwhelming flood of anxiety for our furry friends.
This year, learn everything you can do to keep your pets safe and secure through the holiday.
Before the Fireworks
The best way to get ahead of your pet’s firework-induced anxiety is to create a plan well in advance. Since fireworks can start going off days or weeks before the holiday, creating a safe haven for your pet well before the Fourth of July is incredibly helpful.
Create a Safe Haven
This space should be an area of your home where your pet feels the most comfortable. Depending on the size of your furry friend, it could be as small as a designated shoe box in the corner of your closet or as big as an entire room. The most important aspect is that you do not interfere with your pet when in their special space.
Some pets will already have a space they’ve designated as their own. Take advantage of this and continue to reinforce their use of this space positively.
For those who don’t have one just yet, don’t worry. Set up their space and begin associating the area with positive experiences. You can put some of your pet's favorite toys or treats in the space and let them enjoy them in peace. Make sure you’re swapping out the positive experiences frequently to avoid boredom.
Eventually, your pet will associate positive emotions with this place. Ultimately, their safe haven will become a place that is both enjoyable and safe. That way, as the holiday approaches and fireworks can be heard, they know they have a place they can retreat to. They know that nothing will harm them when they are in their haven.
Ensure that your pet always has access to this special space, even when you are not home. After all, you want to ensure they can seek out comfort when it’s most needed.
During the Fireworks
Once the Fourth of July has arrived, it’s time to take a few extra precautions in the name of your pet’s anxiety levels. Here are a few ideas that can help keep your pet’s emotions at bay during this stressful time:
Don’t take notice of the firework sounds; opt for playtime or scratches instead (if your pet is comfortable with this, never force them)
Put on some background music or turn on the TV to help cover up the sounds of fireworks
Close all of your windows and curtains to help muffle firework sounds and hide any visual cues
Encourage your dog to move towards their safe haven before the fireworks begin with their favorite treats and toys
Ask your veterinarian about pheromone diffusers or collars
Walk your dog during the daytime, when fireworks are least likely to be going off
Make Sure Your Pet Cannot Escape
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. There are a few factors causing this sad truth, but it primarily comes back to your pet getting spooked about the loud noises of fireworks and seeking retreat elsewhere.
Keep your pets indoors and secure, ideally in a place where people won’t be coming in and out frequently, to ensure they don’t have the opportunity to escape.
Veterinary Acupuncture and Anxiety
Included in the many benefits of veterinary acupuncture is reducing stress and anxiety in your pet. Veterinary acupuncture releases feel-good endorphins in your pet and can help with fear, anxiety, and stress, allowing them to relax.
Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Can Help With Your Pets’ Anxiety
When it comes to the holidays, we want to make sure that you and your family, which includes your pets, enjoy them happily and safely. That’s why it’s crucial to be mindful of our furry friends during what can be a stressful time for them. Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture is here to help provide the level of care your pet may need.
You can look at the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. You can also schedule a video consultation with Dr. Kho, who can discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture!