The 4th of July - Not So Festive for Pets: How to Keep Them Relaxed and Stress-free During Holiday Celebrations

The 4th of July - Not so festive for petsIt’s an annual tradition - celebrating the 4th of July and our country’s independence. We anticipate the joyous celebrations surrounding this day, such as cookouts, parades and of course, fireworks. 

Unfortunately what we find festive and fun, our pets find scary and stressful. While we’re celebrating with family and friends, pets are often cowering and alone.

“While July 4th is fun for us humans, fireworks and travel can be scary and traumatic for our pets.That’s why we emphasize how important it is to prepare for the holiday ahead of time,” says Chelsea Gennings, Co-Founder of Pet Releaf. “This time of year, we urge pet owners to make a plan before it’s too late — there are easy ways to make sure your pet stays safe and doesn’t go missing during fireworks season.”

Many pet parents make the mistake of thinking that if their pet is not scared of typical loud noises, such as thunder, then fireworks will not bother him. However, this is often not the case. Pets who do not seem to be troubled by thunder and other loud sounds can often become scared and stressed by the full effects of the July 4th holiday - the fireworks, the loud voices outdoors, and being alone indoors.

It’s imperative to make a plan now so that your pet is safe, secure, and stress-free!

Bring your pets inside and make them comfortable
Don’t ever leave your pets outdoors alone, even if you have a fenced-in yard or they’re on a tether. If they get scared, pets who usually won’t stray outside the yard may try to get out, and can become lost. Or they can get tangled up in their restraint, which puts them at risk for hurting or fatally injuring themselves.

Keep your pet inside in a calm and quiet spot, preferably with the shades closed. If your pet is crate trained, then his crate is an ideal place for him to be. Because a pet can cause damage when he’s scared, it’s important to take away anything that could be ruined or that could be damaging to him if chewed. To keep your pet company, turn on the TV or play the radio at the usual volume, and do this whether you’re at home or away at holiday activities.

Small spaces can also work well for keeping your pet calm. If he likes to go into the bathtub, under the bed, or in a corner, then let him. Don’t attempt to get him to come out - if he feels secure in his chosen spot, then let him stay.

Don’t go to the fireworks with Fluffy
This should go without saying, but taking your pet with you to a fireworks display should never be considered. It may seem like a fun time, to have your four-legged family member with you as you admire the marvels in the sky. But, take our word for it - while you’re admiring, your pet will be agonizing.

Additionally, animal shelters across the nation report that the 4th of July is one of the busiest times of the year. They take in many more dogs than usual, mainly due to them running off during fireworks. Police stations also have higher reports of strays and complaints about barking on the 4th as compared to other days during the year.

Choose other calming options
If you already know that your pet becomes anxious and stressed by fireworks, there are other options you can try to help keep your pet calm.

One of these remedies is CBD, and its soothing and relaxing properties can be extremely helpful in relieving stress. According to Chelsea from Pet Releaf, “Since we’ve been in the CBD business for over a decade, we know that CBD is perfect for stressful events like fireworks and travel. And, our Stress Releaf products are 100% safe for pets. We use organic ingredients such as ashwagandha and chamomile, so they’re completely natural and have no psychoactive properties.”

How much CBD you give your pet and when you give it can vary. Chelsea notes that since all pets are different, there’s no universal response. For example, larger pets will need higher doses than smaller pets, and pets who are ill may need higher doses than healthier pets. In general, CBD’s effects start to take hold between 30 and 60 minutes, so it is recommended to give your pet CBD about one hour before the fireworks begin.

Besides CBD, another calming option is an anti-anxiety vest. Just like swaddling a baby, these tightly-fitting wraps are known for helping pets stay relaxed during stressful times.

When in doubt, about trying CBD, an anti-anxiety vest, or other calming remedy you may have heard of, contact your pet’s veterinarian for a recommendation.

Hop in the car
If your pet enjoys being in the car, then driving him around may be what’s needed to calm him. As always, make sure to never leave your pet unattended in the car. Breathing in all the pent-up hot air can quickly cause dangerous health risks for your pet, or even death. Also, windows left cracked open are not sufficient, and only increase the risk for your pet to be snatched. We can’t stress this enough: Leaving Your Pet In A Parked Car Can Be A Deadly Mistake!

Make sure he's tagged and a chip
Be sure your pet has his collar on with his updated and easy-to-read ID tag. That way if he does get lost, then whoever finds him will know how to reach you. Additionally, microchips include pet parents’ details, so lost pets can be checked for a chip and then returned promptly.

Keep your pets safe and stress-free this Independence Day, and you’ll find that your celebrations are that much more festive.

Happy 4th!

Photo credit:  Pet Releaf

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