July in Utah brings not one, but two amazing holidays where we commemorate the birth of our nation and the founding of our state. Between Independence Day and Pioneer Day, the surge of patriotic pride is everywhere, and we celebrate with concerts, picnics, parades–and fireworks. While these colorful explosions are as American to us as apple pie, to pets the loud, unpredictable noises can be unnerving and unsettling. They can also make them run in fear; in fact, more pets run away during fireworks season than any other time of the year. But there’s more you can do to help your pets than just reinforcing your fences and gate latches. Read on for 4 tips to keep your pets calm and safe during fireworks time.
1. Prepare them ahead of time. Dog whisperer Cesar Milan suggests slowly acclimating your pet to the sound of fireworks so he’s used to them. That way, when the real things go off, your pet isn’t startled by the sound and stays calm. He suggests playing a recording of fireworks at increasingly louder volumes before regular activities like play and walk time to integrate them naturally. For more info, visit his website.
2. Keep them at a safe distance. If you live near a stadium, park or other venue that will be hosting fireworks, or if you live in a neighborhood that particularly loves to shoot fireworks off, take your pet away from that area for the time being to minimize exposure to the noise. Have him stay at a friend’s home or at a day care or boarding facility he’s familiar with so he’s in a calm atmosphere away from the noises and stays safe.
3. Keep them company. We’re usually planning barbeques, picnics and other get togethers for Independence Day or Pioneer Day. And while it’s fun to be social, staying with your pets once the fireworks begin is one of the best ways to keep them calm and safe. Stay indoors or make sure they have harnesses on if you’re outside. If it helps your pet feel safer, put him in his crate. Keeping your pet company will increase his sense of safety.
4. Help them holistically. If all else fails, there are many ways to provide extra calm for your pet around the time for fireworks. Wearing compression sweaters helps to ease the nervous system, and holistic drops added to your pet’s water or favorite treat can help calm him naturally.