The Fourth of July is coming up in a few days, and there are many great places around the greater Los Angeles area to see some dazzling fireworks shows. While we humans may be looking forward to spreading out a blanket somewhere at a park or waterfront to enjoy the pyrotechnics, our furry friends don’t know what’s coming. They don’t expect the big booms and loud cracking sounds, and they get easily distressed by the spectacle. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your pet calm this holiday.

Prepare your pet. If your pet has an opportunity to become accustomed to the sounds of fireworks slowly, the real thing on the Fourth of July won’t be as scary. Google “firework sounds for dogs” for several free options to help desensitize your pet from the loud bangs. First, play the sounds softly while your pet is doing something he enjoys, like eating or playing. Gradually increase the volume until it sounds like a true fireworks show.

Provide a safe place with distractions. Some pets might prefer to be secluded in a closed, secure area of your home, like the basement or an interior room. Close all windows, window treatments, and doors. Then, distract your pet with classical music to help lessen the sounds outside, and play games with him or give him chew toys to keep him busy.

Try products. There are many products meant to reduce anxiety and fear in pets. Some include:

  • Naturally occurring and calming pheromones (Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats) that can be plugged into your wall in the form of a diffuser, sprayed in your pet’s safe place, or even worn as a collar
  • Security and anti-anxiety wraps, like the Thundershirt, Storm Defender, Anxiety Wrap, and others
  • Nutritional supplements and special diets meant to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and maintain emotional balance (ask us what we recommend!)
  • Earplugs for dogs, originally intended for hunting dogs who were around guns, can help muffle the noise (if you have luck keeping them in your dog’s ears)

Discuss anti-anxiety medications with us. For pets with severe anxiety (watch for signs like shaking, destructive behavior, decreased appetite, incontinence, and excessive salivation), contact us. Often, the best option for these pets is prescription anti-anxiety medication, which will alter your pet’s brain chemistry rather than just causing drowsiness, to reduce anxiety.

If you have any questions or concerns when it comes to keeping your furry companion safe and calm this Fourth of July, contact us.