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Keep Your Pets Calm This Fourth of July

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Soon we’ll be celebrating the passage of another year of American freedom with cookouts, parties and probably fireworks of some sort – all of which create noises – loud noises that your pets may not be used to. This can spell trouble for unprepared pets and owners, so let us help you get prepared! (Cat owners, read on – dogs aren’t the only ones that get disturbed by loud noise and party crowds – we’ve got suggestions for all species!)

Your first step should be to get yourself in a calm place mentally. If you’re feeling anxious about how your pets will behave when the fireworks start, you’re already setting them up for failure. They read off of your emotions and “vibes,” so a part of your pets’ anxiety will melt away if you maintain a positive attitude and go into it with at least little bit of joy, rather than trepidation. Do whatever you can to make it a positive experience. “Ooh” and “aah” at the sights and sounds, pass out treats and have a little party of your own. This will help pets associate the Fourth of July with, “Yay, we get extra treats and cuddle/play time!”

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Now, let’s move on to preparing your pets for the evening. The first thing you should do is make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing ID tags. Why both? First of all, not everyone will think to take your pet to the nearest vet to have them scanned for a chip. Second, if a close neighbor finds your pet, they’ll know how to get in touch with you, which may get your pet back home where they belong a lot sooner than if they’re taken to a vet, shelter or rescue agency.

GPS Trackers

Another excellent way to put your mind at ease when it comes to the possibility of a lost pet is to purchase a GPS tracking system. There are a few options available on the market, but we really like the Tagg GPS Pet Tracker. Click here to read about the Tagg system and what we like about it.

Natural Ways to Keep Pets Calm

If you’re starting off with a pet who is extremely anxious, scared or nervous and you think the celebrating is going to be traumatic for them, you’ll want to take some other measures to help them get through the night (and remember to keep your mental attitude and words calm). Here are some of our recommended options:

Thundershirt – You’ve probably heard about it by now, and we’ve certainly talked about it here at PetsWeekly for quite some time. The awesome thing is that we still hear how well the Thundershirt works to keep dogs calm when it’s loud outside for any reason. What’s even better is that they have Thundershirt for Cats now, too! (While we haven’t had a chance to evaluate the cat Thundershirt yet, we’re hoping for an opportunity to do so soon and will let you know our thoughts.)

Calming sprays/aroma therapy – A little spray (or rub down, or both!) can go a long way. Help set the mood in your home using some aromatherapy products designed with your pet in mind. Bach Rescue Remedy Pet – 20 ml has several excellent products and one of our old favorite standbys is Comfort Zone w/ Feliway for cats and D.A.P. for dogs. Both are pheromone-based sprays and diffusers that we have found to be extremely effective. Be sure to check that any aromatherapy product you use on your pets is safe for them – not all products are safe for both cats and dogs.

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Safety “nook” – Prepare a place for your pet to hide away and escape the majority of the noise. Put a crate in corner of the room in your home that is the most shielded from sounds. Make it cozy, and cover it with a blanket if it won’t make it too warm inside the crate. You could even consider lining the crate with a thick foam pad to further insulate the crate from sound and vibrations, and placing a piece of worn clothing that smells like you will go a long way towards calming pets. Plan to stay nearby, and continue to keep calm and peaceful. Perhaps read a book and make it a time for the two of you to get some rest and relaxation together.

We hope this article has put you well on the way to having a completely enjoyable Fourth of July. Remember to maintain a positive attitude no matter how your pets react to the various celebratory sounds and, above all, do your best to make it safe and enjoyable for everyone!

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