For many pets, fireworks can be very scary – the noise, smell and bright, flashing lights can bring on severe anxiety and fear in many dogs and cats. And today fireworks are held at various times of the year with little or no warning for pets and their owners. Left unsupervised, your dog or cat can become disorientated and possibly escape from the house or yard seeking safety only to end up hurt or lost for hours, or even days. If your pet does not have a microchip or identification of any kind on his body, he could even be lost forever. It’s important that as pet owners, we take precautions to ensure our pet’s safety.
Purr’n Pooch offers the following five tips to help keep your pet safe and secure during the big booms of summer fireworks:
1. Provide a safe place for your pet to seek refuge from the noise. Many dogs prefer a small den-like place, such as their crate or bed to rest if they feel frightened or stressed. Cats have hiding down to a science, so you’ll probably find your friend safely and snuggly hiding in a closet or under your bed during the fireworks. Before the fireworks begin, make sure that all your pets are accounted for and protected inside your home before the celebration begins.
2. Avoid leaving your pet alone, in or outdoors, when fireworks are set off nearby. If you must leave your pet home alone, make sure he is left indoors with all windows and doors securely closed and locked. The soft, familiar sounds of an air conditioner, kitchen vent, radio or t.v., if left on while not home, will help to lessen the intensity of the loud booms depending how far you are located from the attraction.
3. Never punish or yell at your pet if he seems alarmed. Instead, act normal and relaxed. Speak calmly and cheerfully to him and try to distract him with toys and treats. You can give him a KONG toy stuffed with treats and let him figure out how to get them out. At Purr’n Pooch we fill a KONG toy with treats, then seal it up with peanut butter and put it in the freezer to chill, then later our pups love to lick the frozen peanut butter and try to get the treats out. Certain kinds of treats can also relax pets. At both Purr’n Pooch retail store locations we have Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Treats for all different size pets. We also have Churpi Chews, which are all-natural, long lasting products.
4. Apply gentle pressure to your pet’s body to help relieve anxiety. A wrap fastened firmly around his midsection will calm his nervous system through application of a gentle hug-like pressure. We recommend using Thundershirt, which is available at both Purr’n Pooch retail store locations in sizes XS, S, M, L and XL.
5. Protect your pet’s hearing with earmuffs. Mutt Muffs Hearing Protection for Dogs are comfortable and lightweight with adjustable straps and wide, foam-filled ear seals for maximum comfort. Make sure however that you dog is supervised while wearing them.
From all of us at Purr’n Pooch, we wish you a very happy and safe Fourth of July together, pets and people. The Jersey Shore has so many fun activities to offer and although fireworks may be exciting for people across the region, we must remember that the Fourth and other fireworks celebrations throughout the summer are fearful times for pets. Take precautions, be safe, and enjoy.