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4th of July weekend can be a stressful time for pets. Fireworks, sparklers, and other noise makers can cause our pets anxiety, stress, and discomfort. As pet owners, we can help our animals feel safe by helping them through these events.

We reached out to two resources in the community to best help you this holiday. Magnolia Springs Veterinary Center and the Wisconsin Humane Society Behavior Department team up to equip you with tools to help your pet.

Veterinarian Morgan McCoy from Magnolia Springs Veterinary Center says, “All animals are different. Some handle these situations better than others. Give them the comfort they need during this time.”

What tips and tricks can help me, help my pet?

1. Keep Your Pets at Home

If you have a dog or cat, make sure that you are keeping them at home or in a familiar environment. Pets do not belong at 4th of July festivities. With the temperature rising, it is important that our furry friends stay home. “No matter where you live, you’ll likely hear the boom of fireworks this weekend. While we, as humans, have a full understanding of where these sounds are coming from, our pets do not and can find fireworks extremely stressful” says Angela Speed from the Wisconsin Humane Society. Create a comfortable environment at home so the animal feels as normal as possible. Both Veterinary from Magnolia Springs and Director of communications at Wisconsin Humane Society agree that to set your dog up for success, you must keep them home.

Close your windows, shut your doors, and draw the shades while at home. Turn on the TV, play music, and create an environment that is familiar to help your loved pet.

2. Update Identification

“Take a moment to double check that your pet’s ID tags and microchip contain up-to-date information. If they do get loose, this is the best way to ensure they make it back home to you quickly and safely” says Angela. If your cat or dog does not have a form of ID, make sure that you purchase a form of identification for them. You can easily purchase a dog tag with current information at your local pet store. It is also wise to have your animal microchipped.

Now, even if the pet will be at home, loud noises or unfamiliar circumstances can cause a pet to try to escape or run off. Vet McCoy says, “if an animal feels comfortable, put them in a designated room. To ensure safety for your pet, it is important to keep a close eye on them. All of our pets are different. It is important to know if they are moderately or severely effected.”

3. Natural Remedies

Some dogs will shake. Some cats will chew household items that aren’t meant for chewing. McCoy says “Natural remedies can be effective if other options are explored do not help. Chamomile can be given as a supplement. The calming effects can help your pet.” Other options that maybe of value are the use of a pheromone collar or diffuser. “Some dogs benefit from a dog diffuser kit like Adaptil, which plugs into your wall and provides a synthetic copy of the canine appeasing pheromone” says Angela.

Help can be as simple as purchasing a Thundershirt, a tight fitted “shirt” for your dog. It velcros on securely to provide gently pressure across their body, much like a swaddle for a baby. The pressure provides a calming effect for the animal.

Beast, a pug, rests with a box of Sparklers on his lap

It is important to talk to your animal’s veterinarian about which methods are suitable for them. Vet McCoy wants to remind Racine County Residents that the behaviors your animal may display, should not be a reason to punish them. The Wisconsin Humane Society says “Try these resources, but if they still show signs of stress, contact your veterinarian to discuss the use of pharmaceuticals. Also, it is best to work with a behavior professional in conjunction with your vet to provide well-rounded care.”

For more information please visit or call your vet.

To read more about firework safety from the Department of Safety and Professional Services, click here.


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