The 4th of July fireworks can be absolutely terrifying to pets - both cats and dogs! They may try to hide or even run away, but there are some basic things you can do to make the experience easier for them. Here are six tips to protect your pets!
Cats often find a place to hide on their own when scared, but dogs can seriously panic when the fireworks start, especially if you’re not around. Do your best to stay close, at least in sight, and your pet will surely feel safer.
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Bring Them Inside
This works both for cats and dogs. Set up a nice place for them where you can improvise some sort of soundproofing (close doors and windows, shut the drapes, and so on). They’ll likely still hear the noises, but will be less likely to panic.
Cats tend to find a place to hide when feeling threatened (or even run away), so try setting up a nice comfortable spot for him/her in the house - they might try to sneak into a dark corner and could be hard to find, and you don’t want your pet to be alone and terrified.
If you’re going to a fireworks display away from home, leave your pet inside! They might panic with the noise and run away trying to either escape the noise or find you. Better leave them inside to be sure!
Make Them Spend Some Energy
Before the fireworks start, take your dog for a walk or play around with him or her for as long as you can. As for cats, take some time to chase them around or play with their favorite toys. Spending a good amount of energy should make both calmer for the rest of the day.
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Even when inside and safe, your pets may still be scared. Distract them by being a nice company - keep playing with them, feed them their favorite snacks, or even put some music on to mask the outside noise.
Consider purchasing a ThunderShirt: it’s a shirt made especially for pets that applies soft pressure on their bodies, helping them to stay calm during thunderstorms or, in our case, fireworks.
Don’t Force Your Pet into Anything
Dogs will often run and hide somewhere when startled by fireworks - if that happens, don’t try to force them out. Just follow the previous tips to make sure they’re in a safe place, and, if possible, bring them inside the house to a room where the fireworks sound less threatening.
Is your home too close to a fireworks display, or your neighbors really like to blow them up? Consider taking your pets to a friend’s house for the day - it’s safer and a lot less stressful for your pet.
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Even with all the precautions, your pets may try running away from all the explosion in the sky, and it’s very easy to lose track of them. Make sure they have a collar with a name and your number or address - in case they do run away, someone else can bring them back!
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