With the Fourth of July comes parades, backyard barbecues, and, of course, fireworks. While all these events top the list of family-friendly activities, pet noise anxiety can be a real issue for our furry companions this time of year.
Although several types of personal fireworks are prohibited in the Valley of the Sun, there are still people who stage their own illegal celebrations. Since most animals experience varying degrees of noise aversion, this holiday can be even more stressful for your pet.
Each year, hundreds of pets go missing around the Fourth of July as a result of noise-related fear. Therefore, one of the most important steps you can take to ease pet noise anxiety is to find a safe, secure place for your animal companion.
When your pet remains outside, he or she is subject to numerous risks such as becoming lost, consuming something toxic, or getting hit by a car. All the holiday activities can be distracting, and it’s easy to neglect the family pet amidst all the chaos.
To avoid a pet emergency, plan ahead and think about where your pet can remain during the festivities. Discuss organizing a pet buddy system with your family to provide comfort and distraction to help prevent pet noise anxiety throughout the holiday.
Fireworks and Pet Noise Anxiety
Paws up if you agree that fireworks are no fun for noise-sensitive companions. In fact, pet noise anxiety is one of the most common fears observed by owners, and this condition can be disabling if left unaddressed.
To help your pet cope, consider some of the following recommendations:
- Do not coddle or ignore your pet, as both reactions can exacerbate a negative response. Instead, stay calm and offer fun distractions such as a game, toy, or small treat.
- Dogs who are socialized in early puppyhood are far less likely to develop phobias and behavioral problems, including pet noise anxiety.
- Allow your pet to hide in a safe, secure room or his or her crate.
- Try to muffle the loud noise with a tv, white noise machine, or purchase a special CD designed specifically to address pet noise anxiety.
- Consider buying a Thundershirt. This garment exerts a steady, soothing pressure on your pet’s torso to help relieve fear and stress.
- Schedule an appointment with us to discuss desensitization techniques, medications, or alternative therapies to address pet noise anxiety in your companion.
Remember, your pet may bolt if he or she becomes scared, so be sure that all gates, doors, and windows are secure. Microchipping and effective training are also good ways to prevent a pet tragedy.
From all of us at Animal Medical & Surgical Center, we wish you and your pet a happy and safe Fourth of July!