We love to celebrate Canada Day long weekend with fireworks, but our pet's and wildlife do not. Firecrackers can send cats into hiding and turn dogs into a quivering mess. Here are a few tips to help ease your pet's anxiety. Allow a few days before the fireworks begin to exercise the first tip.
1. Start by easing your pet into the sounds firecrackers make. One place you can find different sound effects is on YouTube.
Make sure to have different value of treats ex. lower value treat would be kibble, highest value treat could be a piece chicken or steak. Turn the volume on low the first day, if your pet isn’t showing any fear, give a lower value treat. Gradually work up to the highest volume and at the same time, give your pet a higher value treat.
2. Put a Thunder Shirt on your pet. You can buy these at any pet store or you can make your own. Find a t-shirt that is a little smaller than your dog so it fits snugly, like a big hug. This has been proven to ease stress and anxiety.
3. Close all the blinds in the house, so that your pet can’t see the fireworks and anticipate the sound.
4. Turn the volume up on the TV to help mask the sound.
5. Stuff a few kongs with some really yummy stuff like chicken, steak, beef to distract them from the sounds outside.
6. Try not to coddle them, they read our body language. I know when we see our pets in distress we want to hug them and tell them it’s ok. In fact, we are rewarding their fearful behaviour.
If your pet is showing signs of severe anxiety such as shaking, drooling, urinating or defecating in the house, pacing or destructive behaviour please consult with an animal behaviourist and your veterinarian.