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The best day of the summer is right around the corner.
But before you fire up that grill, think of how your pets will be celebrating this Independence Day.
Are you going to have a party? Leaving home to see the fireworks? Whether you’ll be home or not, you need to make plans for your pets, too.
Your Pre-Fourth To-Do List
- Check your pets’ tags and microchips. Your address and phone number should be up-to-date. Many humane societies are offering discounted microchipping this time of year.
- Create a safe space where your pets can hide. Create a hideaway in the corner of a bedroom using your pet’s crate or bed. Use lots of blankets and cushions to drown out the sounds of nearby fireworks and loud guests.
- Put up baby gates. Use pet gates or baby gates to section off safe areas of your home. If you have guests over, tell them to stay away from your pet’s safe areas. Keep pets from running outside.
- Desensitize your pets to loud noises. Play Youtube videos of fireworks at a tolerable level, giving your phonophobic pet a treat after every bang. Gradually increase the volume level to work up their tolerance in short sessions each day.
Keep Your Pets From Getting Lost
Early July is one of the busiest times of year for animal shelters. Cats and dogs cannot understand that the crashes and bangs of fireworks are meant for celebration. Attempting to flee perceived danger, many escape their homes and yards, seeking secluded areas for refuge. The frightened animals may take days to emerge from their hiding spots, and may not approach rescuers.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your animals are safe inside. It’s a good opportunity to make sure their collar tags and microchips are up-to-date. Take photos for identification in case your pets do get lost.
Create A Comforting Environment
Cats and dogs perceive the world largely through scent. You can dribble calming essential oils like lavender on their bedding for a soothing effect. Always dilute essential oils and make sure they’re safe for pets. You can also use calming products formulated specifically for animals.
Prepare Your Pet The Morning Of The Fourth
Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise before the celebrations begin. That can mean a long walk with your dog in the park, or lots of playtime and puzzle toys for your cat. Tired animals will find it easier to sleep through the noise.
If your pets have severe anxiety over loud noises, contact your vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medication. Your pet doesn’t necessarily need to take meds all the time, many pet owners only use them for holidays and travel.
Having An Independence Day Party With Pets?
If you’re having guests over for a party, your pets may love the extra attention – but they’re more likely to be uncertain about many people coming into your home.
It might make sense to keep the party outside, while your pets stay inside. Outdoor fans or citronella candles can be used to repel mosquitoes and a rented port-a-potty can keep your guests comfortable outdoors.
Guests may offer your pets lots of fatty treats – hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, anything that’s on the menu. You can guarantee at least some people at your party will use it to try to bribe your pets into making friends with them. Large amounts of fatty foods can cause an acute pancreatitis attack in dogs and cats.
Offer your guests healthy treats to feed your pets, and make sure they ask permission so your pets won’t overindulge. Better yet, let your pets out for brief potty breaks when necessary, and allow them to hang out if they’re calm enough, only after the food is put away.
If there will be children at your party, don’t depend on their parents to watch them every second. Kids do not realize that cats and dogs don’t like hugs, and they’re especially vulnerable to bites to the face and neck. Even a calm animal can get provoked by a kid. Discourage kids from yelling and running near pets.
How Your Pets Want To Spend The Fourth
In the United States, everywhere you go on the Fourth may be crowded and noisy.
However, you might be able to find a quiet park that does not allow fireworks. If your dog is on a secure leash and harness, and there’s no fireworks or parties nearby, you can spend the afternoon on a walk.
Neighborhood walks are often a bad idea on Independence Day. Your neighbors may set off fireworks in the street; some neighbors might fire their guns as they celebrate and the stray bullets may put you and your pets at risk.
In most cases, the best place for your pets to be is at home, in their safe space. They’ll be less stressed if they are not left alone.
Many areas have fireworks displays and celebrations on both the 3rd and 4th. Some people in your household can celebrate on each day, in shifts, so there can always be someone home to keep your pets calm.
Do your pets get anxious on the Fourth of July? What do you do to keep them calm and safe?