Fourth of July celebrations, fireworks can be traumatic for some pets

Published: Jul. 1, 2019 at 4:05 PM EDT
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It's finally summer and the Fourth of July is right around the corner.

For some pets, loud noises associated with Independence Day celebrations can be very traumatic.

Julie Vezzetti, Associate Veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Marquette, says there are several options to deal with your pets' fear of fireworks.

Approaches start with stress relieving over-the-counter supplements.

Pets with more moderate to severe anxiety might benefit from the Thunder Shirt. It's a vest worn by your pet which applies pressure to the outside body.

"It has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety for animals. There's a lot in the lines of pharmaceuticals as well that you would have to get at your veterinarian. They definitely do help with those animals that have really severe firework anxiety," Vezzetti asserted.

Vezzetti says it's a good idea to begin your treatment plan well before the actual event. This way, you'll understand how the medication will affect your pet. Similarly, she recommends trying things like the Thunder Shirt well in advance in order to determine whether your pet will be comfortable using it.

You might plan to avoid situations that could cause anxiety for your pet.

Vezzetti also strongly recommends pet owners ensure their animals are on a leash or secured inside. She says this is the time of year animal control officers see the most runaways. Also, try using a white noise machine or keeping a TV or radio on in order to drown out those loud noises. A comforting brushing session and a few reassuring words may also go a long way in helping your pet relax.