Summer is here, and soon to be America’s favorite holiday, 4th of July/Independence Day. Unfortunately, this is not a favorite holiday for many pets, who are fearful of loud noises, including fireworks and thunder. My own dog gets fearful, so below I share 10 tips for how to help your pets de-stress.
These are products you can easily find online or at most bigger pet stores, that are snug-fitting garments around the body or ears. Basically enveloping your dog in a big hug. It’s comforting for them to feel a tight-fitting jacket or hoodie around them, making them feel safer.
- Play calming music for background distraction.
Light classical or a similar style of music not only helps calm pets, but also masks the outdoor noises of fireworks and thunder.
- Plug in a pheromone diffuser.
The one I’ve used is called a D.A.P. Diffuser, or Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It’s a plug in oil product that contains a chemical similar to a bitch’s pheromone, which helps calm puppies. Another similar product for cats is called Feliway. Plug it into a socket where your pet spends the most time.
- Set them up for distraction success with a favorite treat or stuffed Kong.
When thunder or fireworks start, or even before an anticipated start, give your pet a favorite chewy snack, like a marrow bone, bully stick, or stuff a Kong with peanut butter, frozen yogurt, etc. Distraction not only helps your dog ignore the noise, it also helps train them that something good comes when the noise starts.
- Try CBD products. They are safe for dogs and have nothing in them to get the dog “high”. It just helps mellow them out.
- Keep pets indoors and on leash on walks. If a pet is off leash, he might get scared by fireworks’ sound, and bolt.
- Give them a cool, quiet dark place to hide. When nervous, pets like to hide in an interior space within the home, like a closet or bathroom. Tubs and showers are favorite spots!
- Make sure they’re wearing collar and ID that’s up to date. It’s very Important to have ID on them in case they do get outside, bolt and disappear. If you find a pet, check for ID tag. If none, take him to a local vet and they can scan for a microchip.
- Microchip your pet and keep it up to date. A microchip is a painless chip the size of a grain of rice embedded under the pet’s skin. It links to a registry where you MUST add your info in order to be reunited with your lost pet.
- Stay home with them. All pets prefer their owners are home when they are scared. Your pet has stood by you through all kinds of times – good, bad and now a pandemic. Be the best friend your pet is to you.