Your neighbors are planning a huge blow-out party for the July Fourth holiday. You are considering joining the festivities, but wonder how your pet will react to the excitement. The team at Sale Creek Veterinary Services decided to poll the neighborhood pets for their opinions about the upcoming revelry.
Pet poll #1:
Sara the Siamese: “I get scared when my owner invites strangers over. I got lost last year when I ran away from home to escape my owner’s July Fourth party. Luckily, I had accurate identification tags on my collar and a kind neighbor returned me to my frantic owner.”
Sale Creek Veterinary Services (SCVS): Ensure your pet has a snug collar and current identification tags in case they escape during the party commotion. Also, consider microchipping as an extra way to keep tabs on your pet. The team at Sale Creek Veterinary Services will be glad to microchip your pet at their next wellness visit.
Keeping your pet inside during the party is the best plan. An interior room without windows works well to muffle outdoor noises as much as possible. Provide food, fresh water, and familiar toys and bedding to help keep them calm. Food-puzzle toys can act as a distraction if you are leaving the house. Music can also help mask frightening noises.
Pet poll #2:
Jerry the German shepherd: “July Fourth parties are the best for scavenging party food. I am excited to see how many fancy treats I can scarf down before my owner notices.”
SCVS: Any sudden change in diet can result in vomiting and diarrhea, especially if your pet eats rich or fatty foods. Many common party foods are toxic to your pet. Avocadoes, garlic, onions, and chocolate are a few that can be dangerous for your pet. If your pet dives in the trash to steal treats, they may inadvertently ingest a foreign object and require surgery to remove the intestinal blockage. Keep all food and garbage containers sealed and inaccessible to your pet. If your pet ingests toxic food, contact Sale Creek Veterinary Service or Animal Poison Control.
Pet poll #3:
Lolly the LaMancha goat: “My herd does not like the fireworks displays, so my owner takes us inside our cozy barn and plays classical music all night. We enjoy the cultural experience.”
SCVS: Goats can become extremely agitated and injure themselves when frightened by fireworks displays. Some goats have a decrease in milk production or experience miscarriages when stressed. Sequestering your herd in a barn and playing music helps calm their anxiety.
Pet poll #4:
Beauregard the bulldog: “I get excited at the July Fourth celebrations, but the heat and humidity are terrible. Why do we have to celebrate July Fourth in the summer? I cannot take the heat!”
SCVS: Pets should be watched closely for heat exhaustion. Signs include excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, and sudden collapse. Keep your pet in cool areas and offer clean, cool water frequently. Bring a water bowl and bottled water for your pet on an outing.
Pet poll #5:
Arthur the alpaca: “Last year, my herd became frantic when the fireworks started. We found a section in the fence that was down, and we broke out and ran down the road until our owners corralled us home. I was happy to be back in my familiar pasture.”
SCVS: Ensure all fencing is mended and secure before the July Fourth celebrations. If possible, check on your pets frequently during the celebration to ensure they are staying calm and not looking to escape.
Pet poll #6:
Gail the golden retriever: “Fireworks used to terrify me, so I started behavior modification therapy a few months ago, and now they do not bother me nearly as much.”
SCVS: If your pet exhibits anxiety or fear during fireworks displays, behavior modification may help mitigate their stress. Download firework noises and play them at a low level. As long as your pet stays calm, offer them a treat and a play session, and leave the noise playing for several minutes. Repeat this several times during the day. Over several months, gradually increase the volume during these practice sessions. If at any point your pet becomes upset, decrease the volume until they are calm again, and offer them a treat. At the next session, start the noise at their acceptable level, and more gradually increase the volume.
Pet poll #7:
Amanda the Maine Coon: “I find fireworks extremely distressing, and nothing seems to help. I feel like I am being attacked, and I spend the entire time huddled in fear under my owner’s bed.”
SCVS: Some pets experience noise phobias and exhibit extreme stress during firework displays. If your attempts at behavior modification have not been successful, talk to a veterinary professional to see if your pet is a candidate for a mild sedative or anti-anxiety medication or supplement.
Protect your pet from undue stress this July Fourth by taking this wise advice from the neighborhood pet community. The team at Sale Creek Veterinary Services values your pet like their own. If you are concerned about your pet’s anxiety issues, contact our team to schedule an appointment.
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