Hello, friends! Winston here. I have to be honest, I’m a little nervous about this long weekend. I know a lot of people are going to have so much fun sitting under the stars with their family and friends watching (gulp) fireworks. But they make me a little shaky and anxious. I’m not alone, either. Most pets have anxiety about fireworks because of how loud, bright, and even smelly they can be. But I’ll be okay, because my people at SampleHouse know all the tricks.
Here are some of the things that keep me calm each Independence Day:
1. Keep Pets Indoors
Fireworks are scary enough without having to be right underneath them! Make sure all four paws are inside well before the sun sets on the Fourth and on surrounding days. Remember, a lot of neighborhoods will have a few amateurs who want to celebrate early (and late)! It’s best to keep your pet indoors (except for potty breaks) for much of the weekend until the celebrating is over.
2. Give Them Their Own Space
Dogs really enjoy claiming their own little space. It reinforces feelings of safety and makes them feel like a puppy again. If your dog is anything like me, he or she probably likes to retreat to that space when they’re nervous or upset. Make sure your furry friend has a special corner in the house or even a cozy little crate they can retreat to if the fireworks get to be too much. Pillows and familiar blankets are a great way to make this space extra-comfy.
3. Remain Calm
When I’m nervous, it can make me feel even more afraid when someone else around me is uncomfortable and nervous, too. Us dogs pick up on your feelings very easily, and we can start to feel nervous ourselves after a while if our humans are all keyed up. The best way to handle all the holiday excitement and keep me calm is to act like nothing’s happening. After a while, we’ll believe you.
4. A Tiny T-Shirt
Dogs are a lot like babies in that a good swaddling hug can calm us down. Letting your pup wear a snug t-shirt can give them sensation of a reassuring hug. The light pressure over the chest and shoulders from the shirt can keep a shaky pooch calm during fireworks and thunderstorms.
5. Save the Sedatives
Fireworks can be scary, sure, but so can sedatives. In extreme cases, a doctor will prescribe some pets sedatives, but most pets really don’t need them. They can severely affect blood pressure and mobility, and they can take hours or sometimes days to wear off. It’s not always possible to predict how each pet will respond to the drugs, so it’s best to just tough it out with cuddles and soft voices.
Have a Happy Fourth of July, Samplers!
Your favorite pup,