Fireworks from July 4th celebration may be festive to you, but can turn your pets into nervous wrecks. More cats and dogs--and even livestock like horses--become lost on this day than any other when pets panic, go through windows, break tethers and leap fences.
Even safely contained pets shiver, moan, and feel worse with each noisy boom. You may not see quivering scaredy cats, but the stress from noise phobia increases risk of hit-or-miss litter box behavior.
It can take weeks or even months for desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques to teach fearful pets that noises won't hurt them. If you start these programs when your fur-kid is a baby, it can help him stay calm during all kinds of scary noises, from thunderstorms and gunshots to fireworks fears. For tips on how to desensitize and some neato products to help the process with puppies and dogs, check out these 11 tips for calming noise fears.
With Independence Day right around the corner, you'll need some immediate help. Gina Misiroglu of Red Room helped connect me with the terrific folks at Paw Nation for my latest article 10 Tips to Prevent Fireworks Fears -- for dogs, cats, even horses!
You'll find more help for pet behavior problems including fear issues in my PETiQuette book, and it's also addressed in the Aging Dog and Aging Cat books--old fogey pets have much less tolerance for scary stuff. Be safe and have a lovely July 4th.
Causes Amy Shojai Supports
Cat Writers Association, Winn Feline Foundation, AKC Canine Health Foundation, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)