Things That Go Boom: Helping Pets Cope With Thunderstorm And Firework Anxiety

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For many of us, the 4th of July is a holiday we look forward to all year. Friends, family, food, and fireworks make this summer event a beloved tradition that we can’t imagine doing without. Our pets, however, may feel differently. The loud noises, smell of smoke, and general chaos of this all-American celebration can create some major anxiety for our four-legged friends.

Fireworks displays aren’t the only thing pets have to worry about in the summer months. Storm season is upon us, too; and the same pets that are fearful of fireworks likely deal with anxiety surrounding the sounds and sights of a summer thunderstorm. Fortunately, there are lots of tools at our disposal for helping to reduce thunderstorm and firework anxiety in our pets. Continue…

No Sparklers for Sparky

sparlers-for-sparkie.001 The 4th of July is a time to prepare the barbecue and Oooh and Aaah at the “rockets’ red glare”. While this holiday may be one of our favorites, it can be a very dangerous or stressful time for our pets. It is important to consider how our pets may react during the 4th of July festivities, especially during the fireworks show. Our pets may be content around a lot of people and commotion, but it is common for pets to become stressed or anxious during really loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic have a few tips for you and your ‘fur family’ so you can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

During the fireworks show it is best to keep pets inside where it is quieter and they can feel safe. If your pet is crate trained, keeping them in their crate with or without a blanket lying over the top can help them feel more secure. Drowning out the outdoor noise with a T.V. or radio turned on while your pet is inside can also be soothing for them. If your pet becomes anxious during thunderstorms or fireworks it is best to not encourage their anxiety. For example, owners should remain calm and go about their day so the pet doesn’t feed off of the owner’s anxiety. Often times if the owner is anxious, the pet will become even more anxious as they sense that there is something to fear. During the 4th of July, numerous pets go missing each year. This is because they become anxious and try to flee, which is why keeping them indoors where they are safe is often best. Anti-anxiety medications can be very helpful to get anxious pets through this noisy holiday. Call or stop by Dupont Veterinary Clinic to speak with your veterinarian about whether or not adding anti-anxiety medications is right for your pet. Thundershirts are also helpful for pets during storms or fireworks as the snug-fitting jacket helps to swaddle and comfort your pet during times of stress. Thundershirts can be found at Dupont Veterinary Clinic, so bring Sparky by to find the right fit for him!

sparklers-for-sparkie-2.001Fireworks aren’t the only hazard for pets at this time of year. S’mores left out by the campfire or food near the barbeque can also be dangerous for your pet as they can lead to stomach irritation or obstruction of their intestinal tract. Toxic foods for pets include chocolate, grapes or raisins, avocados, onions, alcohol, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener found in gum, some candy, and some foods). Glow in the dark wrist bands or necklaces, while not toxic, can cause significant stomach or intestinal irritation if ingested by your pet. If you’re barbequing ribs or Buffalo wings this 4th, remember to keep the left over bones out of reach of your pets. These bones are often not digested and can cause serious stomach or intestinal blockage.

We hope these tips and tricks will help to keep you and your fur-kids safe and happy this 4th of July. Please fee free to call Dupont Veterinary Clinic at 637-7676 to speak with your veterinarian about what is best for you and your pets over this holiday. We are always here to help.