The 4th of July is coming, and although Americans are excited about it, our pets aren’t.
In fact, some say that’s the most stressful day of the year for them. And the reasons are many.
For a start, while we’re proud to be living in the greatest country and want to celebrate its independency as loud as we can, for pets there’s no possible explanation for why this is happening. To them, this is what the end of the world would look like to us.
Studies have found that noise sensitivity in pets is a big deal, especially in dogs. Which leads to anxiety in other situations from daily life. Researchers have even found that dogs between the age of 1 and 4 that are afraid of loud noises are so stressed that it leads to gray hair. Much like the effect on humans in some traumatic events in life.
The first step to solve this problem is to be aware of the severity of the issue. And now that we are, let’s do something about it to make this July 4th as stress-free for our pets as possible.
Here are some practical tips to apply as soon as possible:
1. Let your pet be in a familiar environment.
Bringing your cat or dog out with you, be it to a main square, a friend’s house, or even the street in front of your home, isn’t a good idea.
Being outside means hearing the noises even more, and together with all the flashing lights, new smells, and the excitement of everyone else around, that’s just too much for an animal.
To save it the trouble, let it be at home. Of course, it’s best if it has your company by its side, but if you can’t do that, just let it stay at home where it feels safe already.
2. Prepare it for the big day.
If you’re willing to test different things, here’s something that will work.
Play sounds of fireworks from your phone or laptop around your dog. Do this a few times over the course of the next few days.
While it will be a bit confused in the beginning, it will become a bit more comfortable with hearing this by the third and fourth time.
It’s more like a mental preparation, but also its brain is getting used to recognizing this. The best thing, however, is that the fireworks on Independence Day won’t be the first ones it ever heard, if we’re talking about a newly born, adopted or bought pet.
Also, having done this trick right before the big celebration is a sure way to make it easier for your dog or cat to handle the stress when it happens in reality.
3. Be kind and compassionate the day before.
Another way you can help your beloved pet is to spend more time with it the day before and the actual morning on the Fourth of July.
Even if you aren’t at home, let a friend visit and make sure everything’s okay. It will be a bonus if someone plays with the little friend longer than usual, takes care of it, gives it more food, etc.
If there isn’t anyone you know that can show up and you’re away, a sitter is the next best solution.
More frequent walks of the pet right before the fireworks can also help.
4. Isolate your home.
Another thing you can do to calm down your cat or dog is to close all windows. That’s for two main reasons. First, to prevent it from escaping if it starts getting too energetic and anxious. And second, to let less noise in the house.
If you’ll be letting it alone in the house, close all curtains, turn off bright lights. A great technique for relaxation is to play some music that’s made especially for animals.
5. Don’t do anything unusual the days before 4th of July.
By unusual, I mean giving your pet different food, taking it to a new place, inviting too many people at home, etc.
Just make sure it’s as calm as possible as there will be enough stress for it when the fireworks begin.
I believe following these tips will make it much easier for your pet to go through this challenge, even if it stays alone at home.
What’s more, once the day and celebrations are over, it will have built stronger character and will now be able to deal with one more obstacle.
What other ideas do you have in mind? Have you struggled with the fireworks on 4th of July and how they affect your pet?
Fido and Spot may not have to cower under the bed this summer when fireworks …