The Fourth of July is a celebration of all things America and the birth of independence in the good ole US of A typically marked with backyard barbecues, family get togethers, and spectacular fireworks. But for our four-legged furry friends, the Fourth is most often a terrifying time.
The thunderous sounds and flashing lights of fireworks and can be frightening, overwhelming and even hazardous for pets.
Trying to escape from the sights and sounds of fireworks, often results in a spike in lost and runaway pets during this national holiday.
However, there are some ways that you can ensure a safe holiday season for your pets:
Avoid all fireworks - Don’t bring your pets to the fireworks display. Instead, it’s best to keep your pets safely indoors during fireworks. Our furry friends are extremely sensitive to flashing lights, strong smells, and booming noises. To help drown out any fireworks and minimize anxiety, keep pets in an escape-proof room with a music playing or the TV turned on.
Be prepared - Keep in mind that some areas also allow individuals to purchase fireworks and your neighbors may decide to shoot some off without warning. If that’s the case have a safe space for your pet that you can go to immediately. Be sure to close the windows and curtains and turn on the radio or TV to drown out the noise. You can also ask your vet ahead of time for meds that will help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. Also, many recommend purchasing a thundershirt for your dog to help relieve the stress.
Update IDs and tags - Make sure that all your pet’s ID tags have the most current contact information and that they are microchipped. And all pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets often become so terrified during fireworks that they will break through a window or door screen to escape. If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately.
Humans can often have trouble sleeping and experience insomnia for a variety of reasons. But did you know that your dog can also experience sleep problems like pacing, panting, pawing at objects or not being able to settle down? And just like humans, if your four-legged best friend is restless at night, it could be a sign of other health issues.
Insomnia in dogs is usually a short-lived problem that subsides once the underlying issues are addressed. Don’t try to ignore the problem in hopes that it goes away by itself; your dog’s insomnia may provide important clues about their health and emotional well-being.
If your dog is restless at night, here are some things you might want to look at:
Their diet - If you’ve changed the type or brand of food they eat recently, your dog might be experiencing an upset stomach or gas that is causing them gastrointestinal discomfort and causing them to be restless. If their stomach appears to be bloated, take them to the vet immediately.
Feeding them too late - Feeding your dog too late in the day or at night may be causing them some discomfort internally. Try feeding them earlier or just once a day in the morning.
They are scared or anxious - Your dog may have had a scare recently or something else is happening that is causing your dog anxiety (like noises from outside, critters under the house, an attack by another animal, etc.). Also consider if you’ve just moved into a new home can impact your dog’s routine and overwhelm them with new smells and sounds. Fear and anxiety causes the release of hormones which trigger the fight or flight response and put your dog in a heightened state of alertness. Try playing soothing music or an anxiety vest.
Wants to sleep near you - This situation may be as simple as your pup wanting to sleep in the same room with you. If your dog does not usually stay in the room with you, try letting them stay in the room with you so they will feel safer.
Aches and pains - As dogs age, they are like humans and may have a harder time getting to sleep. An once they finally get to sleep, it’s actually less sleep than they used to get. Senior dogs also start to feel a little bit of joint and muscle soreness. If your dog is acting restless and is not really a puppy anymore, getting into their golden years may be the culprit. Try some joint relief supplements to see if that eases the soreness and helps them sleep. They might also has a hot spot and be scratching. Try a good shampoo and some itch relief products.
They need more exercise - Your dog may be restless at night because they’re not getting a chance to burn off all that energy during the day. If you’re not taking your dog for walks, letting them run about outside, or engaging them enough when they are outside so that they’re actively running around, they may just have all this extra energy that is keeping them from sleeping. Consider hiring a pet sitter or a dog walker to tire them out and provide companionship during the day. Doggy day care is another option.