Happy 4th of July! This exciting day of celebration can also be a stressful time for the pet owners of anxious pets. Did you know that July 5th is one of the busiest days at most, if not all animal shelters around the country? Dogs who escape their backyards or indoor-outdoor cats that run away and get injured on the 4th often end up in shelters the next day. Please follow these tips to make sure that your whole family (furry and human) have a wonderful 4th of July!
- Please keep all pets indoors. If you have an indoor-outdoor cat please make sure to bring them inside in the early afternoon before the fireworks start. All dogs should be kept indoors and not left in the backyard, where they often end up getting out due to stress and anxiety from the noise of the fireworks.
- Use calming music in the home. Classical music, particularly harp music, can be very relaxing for cats and dogs alike. Play this music in the late afternoon and into the evening.
- Use a Thundershirt. http://www.thundershirt.com/ This is a great option for anxious dogs to help calm them on the 4th of July. It can be purchased online or at your local pet store.
- Use relaxing pheromones. Mother dogs and cats secrete pheromones to help their puppies and kittens relax. Companies have discovered how to re-create and bottle these pheromones and they are now commercially available. Adaptil® for dogs and Feliway® for cats make sprays, collars and plug-ins you can use in your home before and during the fireworks. They can be a great help to calm anxious pets. They can be purchased online or at your local pet store.
- Use a noise machine. These are frequently used to help babies sleep because they drown out background noise. They can also be very helpful to keep the noise of the fireworks at bay for an anxious dog.
- Don’t be afraid to use sedatives. If you’ve tried the above solutions or you know your pet is extremely high anxiety then talk to your veterinarian about options for sedatives. Sileo® is a new medication available and FDA approved for noise aversion in dogs, associated with fear and anxiety. Trazodone is also commonly used to help both dogs and cats relax. Gabapentin is another great medication for anxious cats. There are many safe options available now to help our pets and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian about them!
From all of us here at Napa Valley Holistic Veterinary Services we hope these tips will help you have a safe and happy 4th of July! Please don't hesitate to call us at 707-535-9979 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.