Fireworks No Fun For Furry Friends

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If your pet goes into full panic mode at the sound of Fourth of July celebrations, your furry friend is not alone.

A 2010 study in New Zealand found that 46 percent of pets — cats and dogs included — were afraid of fireworks. The day after Independence Day, in fact, is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters taking in pets that escaped from their homes in a panic.

Dr. Karen Liss, D.V. M., an associate veterinarian at Central Veterinary Associates with offices across Long Island, urges pet owners to make sure their pet has a registered microchip and/or current ID in the event of escape.

To help avoid that scenario, Dr. Liss offers these helpful tips to help ease your pet’s jitters — and the pet owner’s jitters, too.

Get Moving: Take your dog outdoors for some exercise or schedule some playtime with your cat early in the day to tire them out.

Get Them Comfy: Set your kitty or pup up in the quietest area of the home. Close the drapes and the shades to minimize light from entering. Run a room air conditioner, play music or the television to drown out some of the external noise. And, leave out (safe) treats and toys to keep them occupied.

Swaddle Your Pet: The Thundershirt is an anxiety wrap designed for your furry friend that provides gentle, constant pressure to produce a calming effect.

Try Homeopathic Remedies: Visit your local pet store and find out what is safe for your pet that will help soothe them.

Desensitize Your Pooch: Play a CD or DVD that has loud sounds a little at a time to get Fido or Fluffy used to the noise. To work most effectively, this should be done weeks in advance.

Medicate: As a final option for those dogs that need it, SILEO is an FDA-approved medication, designed specifically for noise aversion. It’s a great option for healthy pets but must be prescribed by a veterinarian.

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