4th of July fireworks can sound like the end of the world to pets. Managing a fraidy-cat or jittery dog can mean a long and trying holiday for you, too. Every year, countless panicked pets get hurt or lost trying to flee the terrifying sights and sounds, but these coping strategies will keep you and yours happy and safe until the skies clear.
Give dogs a good walk or playtime early in the day so they’re happily tired before nightfall.
Keep pets at home and indoors. You might need to do this for several nights, depending on how many days of revelry your neighbors observe.
Close the drapes and turn on soothing music to drown out the scary stuff.
Consider a fun distracting game. Coax a mildly nervous cat into a stress-relieving game with a laser or toy. Or fire up the hot-air popcorn popper for an entertaining, chase-worthy dog snack that also makes a distracting white noise.
If you know your kiddos get seriously worked up, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety meds.
Talk to a good pet supply store: many can recommend over-the-counter treatments.
If — Dog forbid — a pet escapes and goes missing, get in touch with nearby shelters ASAP. Shelter staff work hard before, on, and after the holiday reuniting panicked pets with their worried people.