July 4th is just around the corner. Prevent pet anxiety with these easy tricks!
Thunderous clashing can scare any creature, but to the ears of our furry friends, the boom of fireworks sounds like the apocalypse.
You might be a veteran to pet reactions on U.S. Independence Day. Maybe your new couch cushion was shredded last year, or your favorite shoe horrifically dismembered. Or maybe your pet broke your heart cowering and shivering in the corner. These are all signs of an anxious animal.
For pets, it is not only the noise but the vibrations that shake them to their core. You can take some preventative steps to calm your fluffy mate so that you can both enjoy the parades, parties, and bright lights in the sky come this Fourth of July.
Here are some tips for fireworks season:
1. If your pet allows, place some cotton balls it its ears to muffle the sound.
2. Put on some background noise with a low vibrato, like classical music, during the festivities.
3. If you're at home, make eye contact with your pet. The human-pet bond is proven to release the love hormone in both species.
4. Try a Thundershirt for dogs and cats, a barn blanket for farm pets or swaddling for rodents. The gentle but constant pressure acts like a squeeze chute, giving the feel of a long-lasting maternal hug. (But stay away from actual hugging; you like it but they don't!)
5. Pick up some calming medications or supplements at your local vet. Allopathic veterinarians might prescribe a light sedative and holistic veterinarians offer an array of calming herbs. Avoid Benadryl; it makes your pet sleepy but doesn't offer any tranquility.
6. Release some built up stress with animal acupuncture or massage up to two weeks before the event is set to kick off.
7. Tire your pet out the day of the celebration. Play, play, play!
8. If you have access to a soundproof room, such as a basement or even a recording studio, host the pet gala there.
9. Remain stress-free. Animals pick up on their humans' behavior!
10. Anytime you're in a noisy environment with your pet, you can pet them in "calming zones" on the body. Resting a hand on the sacrum, or base of the tail (or tailbone), helps stabilize animals. For those pets that allow, running your finger down the bridge of their nose can also calm them.
Combining any of these steps can go a long way toward minimizing stress in your pet when loud noises are at hand. In fact, you can follow these tips any time of the year when you feel your pet could be anxious.
Remember to look for signs of anxiety. If you're outside with your animal during noisy situations, like fireworks, parades, construction, storms, or traffic, keep a hold on your pet's leash or have the animal inside a fenced in area. They can bolt when you least expect it!
Benadryl for dogs is a wonderful way to take the edge off during this holiday. Remember though you need to test the efficacy before the big day so a week prior, take a Saturday evening and dose according to what your vet tells you to ensure the dosing is correct and it helps!
Dog Benadryl is also wonderful for motion sickness if your dog seems to get sick to his stomach when he rides in the car. Talk to your vet about possible allergic reactions and side effects so you know what to look for when you test the drug. Sometimes dry mouth is a problem.
Also, ask your vet to talk you through how many hours prior to fireworks you should dose. Tell your vet if you have anxious dogs and how that will impact how effective the drugs are as well. Ask them about other anxiety medication if you feel like your dog will not benefit from over the counter medications as you may need something stronger.
Of course, do not dose Benadryl and then take your dog to a fireworks display! Also, do not just dose Benadryl if your dog has a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or difficulty breathing.
Good luck and happy celebrating!
Tell us how you prepare for the loud holiday in the comments below!
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