Fourth of July pet tips: Ways to help with pet anxiety over the holiday

CINCINNATI - Nothing says Fourth of July like the spectacular sights and booms of fireworks displays.

While the show in the sky is pleasing to the eye for adults and children alike, the sounds are often frightening to our four-legged friends.

Veterinarian Bill Wright says firework explosions are confusing to cats and dogs, causing them to develop anxiety.

"You explain to your kids that fireworks are going to be happening but the dogs don`t understand what all is going on and why this day is so much different," Dr. Wright explained, adding that puppies exposed to fireworks are more likely to show fear later in life.

There are ways to ensure your pet doesn't develop anxiety over the long and noisy weekend, though.

In an article written by Doree Armstrong published on the University of Washington website, experts suggest putting your pet in the basement with loud music on so they don't hear the fireworks, using anxiety medication designed and bringing your pet to a kennel, many of which offer special Fourth of July programs.

Another suggestion is a special anxiety wrap intended for dogs that suffer from canine thunderstorm phobia. You can find out more information about the wraps at the following link:

The article lists counter-conditioning is another possible option. The process involves gradually introducing pets to the sound of fireworks. While this can't be done overnight, experts like animal behavior specialist James Ha say its the best long-term solution available to pet owners.

If you're looking for an easy solution, Dr. Wright says something as simple as putting your pet in their crate is a way to help ease the anxiety. He says pets often grow to view their crate as a place of safety and security.

If a crate is not available, try keeping your dog in an interior room of the house, Wright said.

Do you have any special tricks and techniques for keeping your pet anxiety-free during the Fourth of July weekend? Leave a comment in the section below.

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