The 4th of July may be a big celebration in the US, but your pets may not feel the same. A dog, cat, or other critters may not understand that those loud popping and crashing sounds are to celebrate Independence Day, not an attack on their home. But just like many people with PTSD must do, many pet owners are having to find ways to ease the stress of this yearly celebration too.
Here are a few tips to help make this a relaxing, not stressful holiday, for you and your pets.
1. Do something.
Don’t brush off the upcoming celebrations. If your pet was frightened of the loud noise last year, this year it could be even worse. Acknowledge that you’re going to have to do something this year to make your pet feel more comfortable when random fireworks are set off during the night.
2. Check local events.
Is there going to be a big fireworks festival where you live? While you can’t control your neighbors from setting off fireworks, you can get away from areas where the big celebrations are happening. Check and see if there are any fireworks-free zones in your city or head out-of-town.
3. Arrange for a safe zone.
Find the quietest region in your home. Chances are it’s the basement in a house, or in a bathroom without windows if it’s an apartment. Set up your device with speakers and play some calming music for your pet. This will help to block the unwelcome noise coming in from outside. Place a soft blanket or pet bed on the floor, along with some toys. Be sure to stay with your pet throughout the night. Bring a book or your computer, and plenty of snacks for both of you.
4. Build a fort.
Set up a blanket fort around the safe zone. Your dog or cat will think this is great fun, while the blankets will add an additional layer of soundproofing.
5. Teach by example.
Dogs carefully watch us see how we react in certain situations. If you’re walking down the street and someone sets off fireworks, simply ignore the noise. If your pet sees that it’s not a big deal then they’ll soon learn to not react either. If you’re inside your home and your pet pees on the floor in fear, don’t reprimand them, simply clean it up.
6. Smile and have fun.
If your pet sees that you’re happy and relaxed on the 4th of July then they may just learn to do the same. You may not be able to have a happy dog or cat for the first few 4th of July evening celebrations, but as they get older they can become mellower and hopefully less stressed about this event.
Perhaps one day you’ll be able to bring your dog with you to the local 4th of July festival. But until that day comes, you’ll have to ensure that your pets are safely locked inside your home before the fireworks start. If you must leave go out and enjoy the 4th of July without them, find a good pet sitter on the Simple Puppy pet care marketplace.
Featured image from Unsplash