4th of July safety tips to keep pets calm and secure

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Fireworks and festivities are synonymous with the 4th of July, but for many pets, the loud noises and chaotic atmosphere of this holiday can cause them stress and anxiety. Thrive Pet Healthcare, a leading veterinary service community with more than 380 locations across 37 states, provides some practical solutions for pet owners to help ensure their pets’ safety and well-being during this festive holiday. 

“Dogs and cats have a heightened sense of hearing, making the booming sounds of fireworks incredibly intense for them,” says Dr. Anthony Coronado, Thrive Pet Healthcare’s Vice President of Emergency Medicine. “Unfamiliar and loud noises trigger their fight-or-flight response, leading to anxiety and confusion.” 

 To help alleviate the stress caused by fireworks, Dr. Coronado encourages pet owners to take the following precautions.

1. Microchip your pet – Fireworks can be scary for pets and their instinct to run puts them at risk of getting lost. Microchipping is a safe and effective procedure that provides a unique identification code for your pet. By registering your pet in a microchip database, you can ensure easy identification and a higher chance of reunion if they become lost.

2. Remove potential escape routes – Check your fencing for any openings or weaknesses that could allow your pet to escape. Secure collars and harnesses properly to prevent slipping away. Ensure the barriers are free of sharp edges that could harm your pet. Limit access to windows and glass doors to prevent your pet from breaking through the glass in an attempt to escape.

3. Stick to routine – Maintain your pet’s daily routine leading up to the fireworks event. Dogs and cats thrive on consistency, and sticking to their regular care schedule helps reduce anxiety.

4. Natural remedies for anxious pets – Explore natural or herbal-based products such as chewable supplements, herbal sprays or anxiety jackets to help ease your pet’s stress. Consult your veterinarian before using any supplements to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

5. Tire them out – Engage your pet in additional exercise and playtime throughout the cooler parts of the day to help drain their energy before the fireworks begin. This can be particularly effective for pets that tend to get amped-up around fireworks.

6. Anxiety medications – If your pet’s anxiety becomes a significant issue, consult with your veterinarian about anxiety medications that can be prescribed to improve their well-being. Discuss the pros and cons of these medications in advance of the fireworks event.

7. Have a plan for unexpected illness or injury – Since your family veterinarian may be closed over the holiday, keep a list of nearby urgent care and emergency veterinary hospitals in case your pet becomes sick or injured.

To help comfort your pet during fireworks, Dr. Coronado recommends providing a safe space in a dark, secluded area of your home, minimizing outside sounds and lighting, and offering positive reinforcement for calm behavior. Additionally, leading by example and remaining calm yourself can help reassure your pet that fireworks are not a threat.

 “It’s important to create a safe and comforting environment for our pets during the Independence Day holiday,” says Dr. Coronado. “Our pets are part of the family, and it’s vital to be proactive about addressing their anxiety. Consulting with your veterinarian for personalized advice can make a significant difference.”

Dr. Coronado adds, “The 4th of July can be an enjoyable time for everyone, including our pets, if we take the necessary steps to keep them safe and comfortable throughout the celebrations.” 

 To find a Thrive Pet Healthcare location near you, including primary, specialty, urgent, and emergency veterinary care services, visit www.ThrivePetCare.com.


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