As many pet owners know, fireworks can be very stressful for our pets. As the Fourth of July holiday weekend comes upon us, I am reminded of a story from one of our customers. Her dog panicked during a fireworks celebration in the Joshua Tree National Park and was able to break free from her collar and run into the desert. Her terrified owners couldn’t find her for four days. According to an article I read in the Smithsonian Magazine “dogs hear twice as many frequencies as humans and they can also hear sounds roughly four times further away.” Cats also have a heightened sense of hearing and they can hear sounds up to five times further than humans.
So what can we do to protect our pets?
- Provide a safe haven-make sure your dog or cat has a safe place to snuggle up and hide when fireworks start.
- Play music or the TV to help drown out some of the noise.
- Walk your dog during daylight hours before celebrations start so they don’t get spooked and run away.
- Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped (and register the microchip) in case they are able to escape.
- Counter-conditioning-A recent study found that at-home counter-conditioning was one of the most effective ways to alleviate a dog's stress. “When the fireworks started, the owners played with the dog, gave treats and expressed positive emotions. Dogs who received this…were 70% less scared during fireworks on average than dogs who did not.”
- Take your pet for a drive far from the fireworks. This works best if you have a plan in place ahead of time. Where to go? Treats, leash, water all available too.
Looking for the perfect treat to distract your dog or cat? Try our Sam’s Yams Sweet Potato Dog Chews. Or for your cat, our Simply Fish cat treats. Better yet, try Our Daily’s Dog Chews made with sweet potato and chamomile to help with calming.