(2017 update: am not running the contest this year)
The Fourth of July can be stressful for pets. We’re distant enough from big, official displays, but some of our neighbors still shoot off fireworks sporadically until the wee hours, especially scaring our 15 year old dog. He’s mostly deaf, but can certainly feel and hear them go off. When I had cats, they’d be super-stressed out by the noise, too. And then of course, Riley never loses an opportunity to bark at something. Independence Day is the perfect chance for him to work out his vocal cords.
So, I’ve got a few tips to keep your pets calm, cool and collected on Independence Day. One includes a potential purchase, so I’m posting now so you have time to buy this product online if you’d like to try it. (No, I’m not being at all compensated for this. I just think it’s interesting)
Here’s the contest: I’d love for you to share any Fourth of July pet tips you might have. One winner will be chosen at random. And here are my tips:
TIPS TO KEEP PETS SAFE AND CALM ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
1. Keep your pets indoors. Your home may not be soundproof, but doors, walls and window coverings can buffer sound. And, if your pet can’t see flashing lights, that’s one less thing to upset her.
- If you’re concerned about the pet going crazy alone in the house, you might consider a few supplement ideas. Homeopathic Rescue Remedy is pretty popular to calm pets, available at most pet stores and many organic food stores. Add it to your pet’s water or spray it in the room. Some people use a plug in DAP diffuser containing dog-appeasing pheromones with great success. The diffusers are also available at most pet stores. Both of these methods seemed to work for our dogs a bit at first, and then not at all. But lots of pet owners feel they are effective and if you’ve got a nervous dog, they’re worth a try.
- Riley and Little He get a monthly Bark Box, a “surprise” box of organic and other high quality, non-Chinese treats and toys. Last time, they got this in the box:
These yummy Calm-K-9 Nutri-wafers made in Portland, OR from human grade ingredients are said to help reduce a dog’s stress. I can vouch for their yumminess–Little He loves them. They’re not really wafers, though. They’re thick and a little chewy. Riley’s not sure if he likes them or not. Here’s what the manufacturer says is in them:
- Omega 3 600 mg
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 300 mg
- Magnesium Sulfate 250 mg
- Chamomile Extract 200 mg
- Ginger 100 mg
p>The jury’s out as to whether it’s working. Little He has canine cognitive dysfunction (doggie Alzheimers). He takes a melatonin every afternoon and later, a Xanax dose to reduce his significant anxiety, so it’s hard to determine if Calm K-9 works. But it can’t hurt. Might be worth a try. You can buy them online. No, I’m not being compensated at all–I just thought these were a cool idea.
You might also call your vet about the right melatonin dose. It makes our dog a little drowsy, just like in humans, and it could calm yours.
Oh, are you interested in trying Bark Box as a little monthly surprise for your pups? They tell me that this link will not only give you info, but a $5 discount. I might get a referral credit, but I’m not sure if that’s the link that does it or not.
4. Keep your pet at home. Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays or Independence Day barbecues. You may love being with Fido and he with you, but this is one celebration where he’ll be happier at home.
5. If you’re celebrating at home, remember that alcohol, lighter fluid, matches and citronella are all poisonous to dogs. Yes, some idiots think it’s funny to give dogs beer. If you see this happening, stop it. And don’t leave poisonous stuff within reach. Keep your pet safe!
6. Finally, some dogs will freak out and it’s not uncommon on this holiday for dogs to jump fences and cats to escape. Be sure your pet is tagged or chipped just in case.
And finally, if the weather’s warm and you want your dog to enjoy her own cocktail, how about a cold Bowzer Beer for your Bowser?
Not kidding. This came in our Bark Box. Non-carbonated, non-alcoholic beef-flavored “beer” for dogs. Serve it cold or at room temperature. Yeah. a brew for dogs, gotta love it. We’re going to try it so our dogs can “drink” at our next party.
(2014 update: am not running the contest) If you’ve got a tip to keep your cats and dogs safe and calm on the Fourth of July, add it in the blog comments below. I’ll pick one winner per 15 comments -at random- on July 5. Thanks!