July 4th is fast approaching, and many of us are already planning a weekend of backyard BBQs and bright, explosive fireworks. Except not everyone is excited about the upcoming celebrations. Just ask any local animal shelter, and they'll tell you that more pets go missing on Independence Day weekend than any other time of year - and that many of those who do are never reunited with their families. The commotion and fireworks might be thrilling to us, but to our beloved pets, they can be confusing, frightening, and disruptive. We cannot completely isolate them from their once familiar neighborhood being filled with strange flashes and loud noises, but we can take several simple precautions to protect them from the additional anxiety, danger, and stress.
1. Bring your pets indoors. Keeping them inside is the best way to avoid your kitty bolting up a tree, your pup getting stuck where they don't belong, or either of them running away from home in fright. Ensure that any identification tags and collars are up-to-date and secured.
2. Act normal. Animals can sense when their owners are stressed or excited, and react to these emotions. Talk to them in calm voices, make sure they can easily access their safe, quiet places, and don't forget to give them plenty of hugs and love...and the occasional treat!
3. Play music or have the television on to help mask loud noises, and keep the windows and doors closed for extra soundproofing and security. Birds and other small pets such as hamsters and ferrets can also suffer firework anxiety, so make sure the whole family is together and looked after!
4. Consider calming treatments. If your pet is especially nervous or high-strung, speak with your vet about what can help keep them calm on the 4th of July. Devices such as Thundershirts can help your dog or cat feel safer (acting as a firm 'hug' to comfort your pet), and Feliway offers many products that can calm and soothe.
Urban Nest hope you and your families have a wonderful long weekend, full of fun, festivities, and fireworks, and that your furry friends are safe and happy for the Fourth of July.