How to keep 4th of July anxiety low for your furry friends

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While you’re outside enjoying the fireworks, don’t forget to keep an eye on your pets this 4th of July weekend. Most pets don’t understand what’s happening, which means it’s the perfect chance for disaster to strike.

“I think it’s just that they don’t know what’s going on. They just hear loud booms, and they have no explanation for it, so it’s just scary for them,” veterinarian Cassie Hilbrands said.

If the noises cause anxiety for your dog, there are ways to help.

“One would be playing white noise throughout the house to keep them calm. Another is wearing a thunder shirt, which is just a little jacket that goes around them and gives them kind of a comforting sensation, similar to swaddling a baby,” Hilbrands said.

If those don’t work, your vet can prescribe something to help with anxiety.

“We just give the medications throughout the duration of the weekend typically, and then pet owners can use them as needed for thunderstorms or other anxiety inducing events after that,” Hilbrands said.

Even if your pet isn’t scared of fireworks, they can still pose a danger.

“Make sure that those embers, the sparklers, all of those things aren’t laying on the ground where the dog could possibly pick them up in his mouth and burn his mouth, burn his nose, or even his footpads,” Julie DeJong, animal control supervisor said.

Both DeJong and Hilbrands warned that sometimes, even docile dogs can make a run for it.

“Take your pets out early for their walk at night or to go potty before it gets dark and before the fireworks start,” DeJong said. “And that’s always the best tip. You don’t want them running off as soon as the fireworks start.”

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