Caring for your dogs on the Fourth

Fireworks are a Fourth of July staple, but some pets are are traumatized by loud noises. This makes the holiday challenging for both dogs and their families.
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Fireworks are a Fourth of July staple, but some pets are are traumatized by loud noises. This makes the holiday challenging for both dogs and their families.

“It’s pretty common for dogs to be really confused and scared of these exploding things in the sky,” Dr. John Andersen with Monticello Animal Hospital said.

Andersen says the weeks leading up the July 4th are among the busiest.

“Fortunately, most dogs are OK just having a dark space of their own. You can’t take away firework noise, but a lot of us feel like dogs maybe do best in a dark space, almost like finding a cave in the house,” he said.

Once your dog is in that space, avoid coddling them: “Probably one of the other things you can do if your dog is just mildly affected is try to make it like it’s no big deal,” Andersen said. “Be happy, give him some treats, just kind of pretend nothing’s going on because they’re going to sense your anxiety or they’re going to sense your change in behavior.”

Some pets may need sedatives prescribed ahead of time.

“If your dog is really badly affected by this, I would call the vet and see maybe this is an area where some medication might help,” Andersen said.

“What I do is actually give my puppies CBD oil a few days before. It gets into their system and they’re calmer,” Fluffy’s Pet Shop owner Martine Funari said.

Experts say the biggest thing is to not let your dog outside after dark.

“If this is a new dog to you and you’ve never been to the Fourth of July, as I said, don’t take your dog to the Charlottesville firework display,” Andersen said.

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