Is Your Dog Shaking due to Fireworks? Safety Tips for 4th of July
Whereas celebrations and fireworks go hand in hand for us humans, it is also essential to remember that fireworks can be troublesome and traumatic for our beloved pets. With Independence Day around the corner, we want you to make sure that your pets feel comfortable with the grand celebrations that will include fireworks and music.
The noise caused by fireworks is perceived as a threat to them, and can trigger their flight or fight response, leading to behavioral changes like anxiety, pacing, whining, shivering, heavy panting, trembling and loud barking. Furthermore, your pet may also get stressed due to these noises and try to run away.
Fireworks: Awesome for humans, terrifying for animals
Why are pets scared of fireworks?
Cats and dogs have a tendency to hear at much higher frequencies than we humans do. Hence, the bangs of fireworks can be harsh, sharp and much louder sounds on their ears, which can be very painful for them.
Neither do we want our beloved buddies to get scared in this situation, nor do we want them to suffer from any distress. Therefore, here are some handy tips on how to protect your pets from fireworks:
The best way to prepare pets for such situations is to acclimatize them beforehand by making them comfortable with the sounds of fireworks. This can be done by conditioning them by playing recorded sounds of fireworks before feeding them or taking them out for a walk. This way, they will be conditioned to relate to the sound of fireworks as something positive. Note that this conditioning process should begin at least one or two weeks before the actual event or celebrations.
Create some safe spaces in your house where your pets can hide if they get scared. Select a soundproofed comfortable corner in your house, and fill it with water-food bowls, toys and proper bedding, but don’t confine them to this area. Let them roam freely wherever they want to or else they may feel even more stressed.
Also, make sure you provide plenty of hiding spaces, especially in the case of cats and rabbits. They might get scared and run to find safe hiding spaces, such as under the bed or behind the closet. And, don’t forget to close the windows, curtains and blinds to further prevent the noise of firecrackers from reaching your furry babies.
If your routine includes taking your pets out for a stroll late at night when the firecrackers are usually burst, change it gradually. Walk them early, or even if you have to take them out at night for some reason, keep them on a leash or they may try to run away due to anxiety and make sure they are microchipped, so that they can be reunited if they do. You can also feed them their favorite treats to make them feel better.
Do some shopping in advance:
Consider using noise-cancelling headphones, such as dog muffs, to muffle sounds, or anxiety relievers, which can help reduce heart rate and anxiety. You can also invest in pheromone sprays and diffusers. They aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety in pets. However, you should start using them a couple of weeks prior to Independence Day.
Keep the fireworks out of their reach:
Fireworks are an integral part of Independence Day celebrations and it is certain that you will include them in your celebrations, but make sure that these fireworks are out of the reach of your pet. Store them securely where your pets can’t reach.
The next day, keep an eye out for any shrapnel or residues of fireworks in the garden or your vicinity and discard them as soon as possible as they pose a risk to your lovelies.
Following these simple tips on 4th July is the least we can do to reduce our pet’s sufferings when they are the ones who constantly shower us with all their affection to keep us stress-free round the year, isn’t it?
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Also, a very Happy Independence Day to all of you!
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