Fourth of July and Summer Tips for Your Pet
Summer is finally here in the Pacific Northwest and the Fourth of July (and Blue Angels) are just around the corner. While people often love the holiday spectacles, our furry friends often don’t appreciate the noise. We have a few fourth of July and summer tips for Bellevue pet owners to keep everyone safe and happy.
Know the Signs
Noise phobias in animals can range from mild to severe. Since they don’t quite know what’s going on, our pets may react with quite a bit of fear when the big fireworks go off. Cats, as smart and independent creatures, may simply hide and stay hidden until they think it’s safe to come out. Dogs may pant and pace or drool and whine. They may also have an accident in the house, bark or try to get out. Escape attempts can lead to unusual destructive behaviors in otherwise well-behaved pets and can be dangerous as well.
There are some options for pet owners to address these issues and increase a pet’s comfort level. If you know your pet has problems with loud noises, you can use a few of these Fourth of July and other summer animal health tips to keep them safe. Starting with the worst case scenario, now is a good time to be sure your pet has a microchip implanted with your updated contact information, just in case they escape or wander off your property.
Keeping Them Calm
If they’re getting stressed about noise, try to remember to remain calm yourself - they often read their humans for behavior cues. An anxious owner often means an anxious pet. Keep them in a safe, confined space that is as insulated from sound as possible. If they’re trained to “go to bed” or some other calm spot, send them there for comfort. Some pets respond well to a body wrap such as a Thunder Shirt. Make sure you put it on them before the noises start. You may also want to try some white noise (such as the “Through a Dog’s Ear” CD). There are even ear muffs for dogs that can muffle loud sounds, like Mutt Muffs!
If the above steps aren’t enough, there are medications that can help with pets’ anxiety. These range from nutraceutical supplements to prescription medications. Talk to your veterinarian to help determine the best combination for your pet. We hope these Fourth of July tips help you and your pet stay safe this summer!
Please feel free to contact Bellevue Animal Hospital if you have any questions.