There must have been some pretty awesome fireworks going off in our area this Independence Day because the shelter got a big influx of stray dogs in over the weekend.
Most were reclaimed the next day by their owners, but I shudder to think of what could have happened to them had they not been safely impounded.
The sound and vibrations from fireworks, thunder and gun fire are very frightening to many animals and can send them into a panic.
Thunderstorms are a fairly, regular event for us in the summer, fireworks have gained popularity since state laws legalized their use, and sadly, gunfire is not all that unusual either. Let’s look at some ways to help your pets cope and stay safe through these events.
First and foremost, if you have and outdoor pet, bring them in during storms and celebrations. They don’t usually go on for long periods of time so find a place to get your animal safely contained.
If you have a you have a young pet, it’s important to start them out on the right paw, the best possible thing you can do is give them positive reinforcement during scary moments. As soon as you hear the distant rumble of thunder or the beginning of a neighbor’s pyrotechnic celebration, turn up the music, get out the toys and get on the floor with them.
First, choose a place in the house where you can safely confine him and keep him comfortable; rooms with no outside walls are often the quietest and there is no risk of them running out of doors in a panic.
Again, put the music on and even if you can’t entice him into play, show him that you are relaxed and unafraid. Doting on them is not necessarily the right strategy as it may give them the feeling that there is in fact something to be afraid of. Our pets are very in tune with our emotions so do what you can to show him that you are feeling content and carefree.
Another tool for handling your pet’s anxiety and fear is something called a “Thundershirt.” They make them for both dogs and cats and they have proven very successful in helping many pets through their insecurities and fears.
For some pets, there’s just no consoling them and they can actually hurt themselves or do damage when their fear erupts into full out panic. For these types of situations, you should consult your veterinarian. There are both homeopathic remedies and medication that can be prescribed in severe cases.
Always keep identification on your pets so that if the worst happens and they run away, they can be quickly returned to you. Microchip implantation is also highly recommended and can’t be lost like a collar or tags.
The shelter also needs Purina Cat and Kitten Chow, canned dog food, cat nip, dog treats, cheese singles or sticks, small cat toys, small fleece blankets and crib sheets, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.