When Rocket gets scared: Five steps to pet zen this Fourth of July
If you weren’t socially conditioned to expect the rocket’s red glare once a year, you’d be running for cover, too.
Whether you’re at home, in the city or out in a field this year, here’s five simple measures you can take to ensure your little patriot stays calm thro’ the perilous night.
- Step 1: Set up a pregame show. Get your companion to equate fireworks with happiness with an online fireworks display and a handful of treats.
- Step 2: Schedule potty time. You dog may prefer to stay indoors once the show starts. Avoid accidents by taking her for a walk at dusk.
- Step 3: Keep calm and give treats. As showtime approaches, stay proactive. Call your dog to attention with a tantalizing treat. If his ears go down, but he stays put, he deserves a “good boy” and a reward.
- Step 4: Zen the crate. Pets might duck out in the middle of the show, or even prefer to stay inside the whole time. Make sure they have easy access to their favorite cozy place. Low light, white noise, crate drapes and Thundershirts are all ways to combat sensory overload.
- Step 5: Don’t forget the tags. Taking an inexperienced pet to a public fireworks display can be a serious flight risk. Epidermal microchips and I.D. collars make for a cheap insurance policy.
Other considerations: If your pet has a record of extreme anxiety, you might want to play it safe and consult your veterinarian. Acupressure and massage techniques, tranquilizers, and herbal supplements are all common remedies that can make powerful precautionary measures.
With no national anthem to reassure them, our pets are understandably skittish around our Fourth of July rituals. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help them adjust. Even though it seemed like the whole world was crashing down, the flag was still there to comfort Francis Scott Key. This year, you can do the same for your dog.
Tags: Dogs, Fireworks, July, Pets