It’s Fireworks Time!

July 3, 2006 fireworks display at the Tesla/Skid Row concert at Fort McDowell Gaming Casino in Scottsdale, AZ

Yes, everyone it’s that time of year: thunderstorms, fireworks and loud noises! If these things have your dog or cat running for cover, here’s a few tips to help make summer a little more enjoyable for your pets.

During fireworks season, it’s easy to see why pets get stressed out. There’s sudden loud noises and they come from all directions for hours on end. The first thing you want to do is get your pet HomeAgain microchipped, so that if he or she does escape, you can be sure that if they are found, they can be returned home. Second, common sense, guys, don’t let them out during the times when you know people will be setting off fireworks. You will want to create a “safe place” for him or her to go. This could be a kennel, a bedroom, or even the basement (think muffled sounds) that has a radio or tv on to drown out the loud scary noises.

During fireworks or thunderstorms is a good time to break out the Kong ball or your cat’s favorite toy, such as the Chirpy Bird (a BIG hit at my house!!). Something that will keep your pet busy for awhile so they don’t pay attention to the noises going on around them.

You can also try a D.A.P. collar or diffuser for dogs and a Feliway diffuser for cats. Both of these emit natural pheromones that help to calm your pet during stressful situations and can also help eliminate urine marking, scratching and help with separation anxiety in dogs. If you are using a diffuser, you will want to plug it in early so that it has time to spread throughout the house before the fireworks show starts (at least a few days before). During thunderstorms, you can use the diffuser as well as the spray that is available for quick fixes. The spray is also very useful if you’re traveling or taking a trip to the vet.

It is also important not to give your pet too much attention if he or she is acting fearful. Doing so will reinforce the fearful behavior, and you don’t want to encourage your pet to act fearful during fireworks or thunderstorms as this can make the problem worse. Reward him or her with attention only when he or she is calm and comes out of hiding on his or her own.

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