It’s the single most dreaded holiday among pet parents. Independence Day, and the accompanying celebrations, are a major source of stress for dog owners, particularly for those pets that experience fireworks anxiety.
So, how do pet parents typically help dogs faced with fireworks anxiety? Healthy Paws Pet Insurance surveyed dog owners around the country to determine which methods are most commonly used on the scary holiday. Among those surveyed,
• 56% turn on music or a television to drown out the noise.
• 54% snuggle with their pets to make them feel safe.
• 30% create a safe space with their favorite toys or treats close at hand.
• 21% dress them in a ThunderShirt or similar wrap to help with their anxiety.
• 14% give their dogs treats made with calming ingredients like CBD oil, melatonin, or valerian root.
• 4% pack up their pets and head to a place unaffected by firework noise.
While these methods may help many pups, a significant number of pet parents – 22% – said that nothing they’ve tried has helped ease their dog’s anxiety. For these pet owners, a veterinarian-prescribed calming aid may be necessary, especially if the dog’s anxiety is severe.
In any event, it’s important to prepare in advance and take steps to calm your dog before he reaches a high level of anxiety. Don’t wait until fireworks have already started to put on the ThunderShirt or give calming treats. It is much harder to calm a dog that’s already become anxious.
Not only is the night of July 4th one of the most confusing and frightening for our furriest family that simply don’t understand the barrage of explosions from every direction, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters trying to reunite lost dogs with their owners.
Even in a normally secure fenced yard, a frightened dog can panic and, desperate to escape, will jump over or dig beneath a fence in order to find a safe place to go. For this reason, never, ever leave your dog unattended outdoors when fireworks are expected and, even when you’re monitoring them outside, make sure they’re wearing a collar and ID tags at all times.
How do you prepare you pets for the 4th of July? Share your tips in a comment below!