MINNEAPOLIS — In a few days, you'll hear the boom of fireworks across your neighborhood.
The Fourth of July is a big celebration, but for some people and pets, it can cause severe anxiety.
According to the Animal Humane Society, nearly half of dogs in the U.S. suffer from noise issues. Signs of noise anxiety in dogs include:
- Barking and whining
- Excessively seeking attention
- Cowering or shaking
- Lip licking and yawning
In order to relax your pets and keep them from getting scared, Doctor Angelica Dimock recommends acclimating your dogs to noise early.
"There's a lot of apps and websites that will have the sound of fireworks, so you can start slowly. Have the volume down low, play with the animal, give treats, making it a really fun thing," says Dr. Dimock.
"And then as the days progress make the volume louder and louder."
It's also important to create a safe place for your pet. The Animal Humane Society recommends choosing an interior room, away from windows, and typically somewhere the dog goes on its own. Draw the blinds to keep out flashes of light. During a fireworks show, keep pets in the same room where they were trained.
Dr. Dimock says having music on, like mellow talk radio or classical music is very calming. "Fans or white noise machines can also help. Keeping the lights on in case you have windows, so they're not seeing the bright lights flashing outside the windows," she says.
And of course, keep treats and toys close by.
For pets with severe noise issues, medications are an option. The AHS recommends checking with your veterinarian to see if your pet has issues beyond what other steps can manage.
On the day of fireworks, don't take your pet to the fireworks display and don't leave animals in cars while watching. The AHS says to keep pets inside, because unattended outdoor animals might panic, escape, get lost, or be injured getting tangled in their chain.