Most of us look forward to the fun and festivities that take place around July 4th – picnics, backyard barbecues, and – fireworks! Our pets, however, may not share our enthusiasm. More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other time of the year. And many pets injure themselves trying to escape. Some dogs and cats show no reaction to fireworks, but a pet’s reaction to loud noises can change over time. Regardless of your pet’s fear level – being prepared will help them stay safe and feel secure.

Safety Tips:

  • Keep your dog at home in an area where he can’t get out – no open windows or screen doors. A frightened dog will go through screens, leap out high windows you didn’t think they could reach or wiggle through openings that you never thought they could. If your pet reacts to thunder, then it’s safe to think he will react to fireworks.
  • Take your dog out to “do her business” before it begins to get dark and the fireworks start. Once the fireworks are under way, she will likely resist going outdoors.
  • Use a leash or carrier if you do have to go somewhere – even just from the house to the car.
  • Provide a “Safe Hideout” for your pet. Dogs often feel safer under a desk or in a bathroom or even in their crate. Cats like closets or even a cardboard box in the closet.
  • Make sure your pet’s ID is up to date – just in case he does manage to find a way out.
  • Stock up on remedies to help him cope and keep some soothing music on.

Thankfully there are a variety of safe remedy options to help our pets through the celebrations this coming 4th of July. Here are some to consider for your dog or cat:

Thundershirt – This snug wrap applies gentle pressure over your dog or cat’s body creating a calming effect. It has an 80% success rate – which is far better than any prescription medication available. For those pets with more intense fear reactions, combine use of the Thundershirt with one or more of the remedies below.

Fireworks/TFLN Homeopathic Remedy – TFLN is a completely safe and often very effective remedy for noise phobia. The liquid drops can be applied directly into the mouth or on a small treat, but is more effective if given away from meals. It is best to begin dosing your pet a day or two prior to the heavy fireworks for optimal results. Give a dose every 15 minutes during fireworks or thunderstorms.

Rescue Remedy – Cats are often quite responsive to flower essences, as are most dogs. You can start giving this remedy several days before the fireworks as well. It is easy to dose: put the drops in drinking water, rub into the ears and paws, and/or drop into the mouth.

Vetriscience Composure for Dogs or Cats – A soft chew supplement containing nutritional factors such as Colostrum Calming Complex™ BiopeptideBlend that supports stress reduction and cognitive function and L-Theamine that calms an animal’s nerves.  Dosage can be doubled during stressful events such as fireworks or thunderstorms.

NaturVet Quiet Moments with Melatonin – This is a also a soft chew supplement.  Quiet Moments contains blend of thiamine, L-tryptophan and herbs to reduce stress and tension.  Melatonin helps to promote rest and relaxation.  Ginger supports digestion and sensitive stomachs.

Pheromone Sprays – Pheromones are “scent compounds” that cats and dogs naturally emit through their skin. The pheromones in Feliway and Adaptil evoke a calming response and soothe your pet’s nervous system.

CBD Oil from Hemp – Cannabidiol (CBD) from the Hemp plant has been known to work wonders with people and with pets when it comes to anxiety prevention. There are multiple scientific studies showing the positive effects of CBD for a variety of health conditions- including pain management and anxiety reduction. CBD is a natural compound found in the hemp plant that promotes a feeling of wellness and enhances balance and calmness in the pet’s nervous system.  Unlike CBD products made from Marijuana, CBD from Hemp is extremely low in THC, the compound that causes the “high”, so CBD from hemp is very safe for pets.

If your pet is one with severe noise phobia – consider combining more than one remedy. It is perfectly safe to give both an herbal remedy along with a homeopathic or Rescue Remedy and use a pheromone spray or diffuser as well. Stop by your neighborhood Pet Pros for assistance finding the best calming solution for your pal. Your pet will appreciate your effort to help keep him safe and less stressed this Independence Day!

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Note: Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice.