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A Calm and Quiet Fourth of July

Keeping our pets safe during the festivities.

Animal shelters report that the Fourth of July holiday is one of the peak times that lost pets end up at shelters. Dogs and cats get frightened by the loud noises and may bolt from the backyard. Some animals suffer from anxiety and act out with behavioral issues.

Here are some tips on how to keep our four-legged friends calm during the holiday.

  • If your pet is usually outdoors, bring him or her indoors during the days around the holiday when firecrackers and M80s might be going off in your neighborhood.
  • On the night of July 4, close the windows and run the air conditioner or turn on a radio to help mask out as much noise as possible.
  • You may want to put a Thundershirt on your dog. The consistent pressure of the garment helps to calm dogs down. I wish I had one of these for our dog when we had a loud thunderstorm a few months ago. She jumped in our bed and couldn’t stop shaking. Pet stores also sell a variety of homeopathic remedies that dogs and cats can ingest or inhale.
  • If your pet gets especially stressed or your neighborhood is particularly noisy, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about using tranquilizers.
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)  recommends allowing your pets to seek refuge under the bed or some other confined space if that’s what they want to do. When we drag them out and tell them “it’s okay,” this could instead reinforce their fears.
  • And by all means, leave your dog at home and don’t bring him or her to a fireworks display.

Pet of the Week

Meet Molly, a lovable Lab mix. She’s one year and eight months old and weighs approximately 47 pounds. She loves being with people, going for car rides and walks. She spent her earlier life in a backyard, so she was under-socialized. Her foster family has been working with her on this by slowly introducing her to people and dogs. Molly learns quickly and would thrive in a home where she would receive a lot of attention and the opportunity for socialization and training.

For more information about Molly and other dogs available for adoption, visit the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) website.

Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP July 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Your article mentions the Thundershirt, but not the Anxiety Wrap. The Anxiety Wrap is the original pressure wrap and the only patented pressure wrap. It was designed by Certified Professional Dog Trainer and T-Touch Practitioner, Susan Sharpe in 2001 and has been featured in many journals and media broadcasts. The Anxiety Wrap is the only pressure wrap that uses both maintained pressure (constant pressure) and acupressure to achieve behavioral calm. It was recently evaluated by Dr. N. Dodman at the prestigious Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and found to be effective in 89% of dogs with thunderstorm phobia. I have used the Anxiety Wrap on my own dog and because of the consistent results and excellent customer service I regularly recommend the product to my clients with anxious dogs. For more information about the Anxiety Wrap, see the company website (http://www.anxietywrap.com) and this article which compares the various products available to consumers: http://anxietywrapsays.blogspot.com/2012/02/comparison-of-anxiety-wrap-thundershirt.html
Cathy Weselby July 02, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Cindy, thanks for your input!
Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP July 02, 2012 at 07:06 PM
You're welcome. Thank you for allowing my comment!
Mayra Flores de Marcotte July 02, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Great tips, Cathy! I am always looking for new ways to keep my dog calm during these holidays (which tend to extend past the single day) ... Lula appreciates the help ;)

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