Red, white, and BOOM! 💥
The 4th of July is a day of celebration of our home, sweet home. But for pets, it can be a terrifying day after dusk. Rescues and shelters reported a 60% increase in lost pet intakes from July 4th - 6th of last year.
Let's roll through six surefire tips to calm and soothe pets during the fireworks show.
1. Start with fresh air ☀️
Most pets love the great outdoors, but not when fireworks are lighting up the night sky... Get outside in the morning and around noon to prep them for a night indoors.
Dogs: Go on a walk
Before the festivities begin, exercise your dog to tire them for the day. Hit up their favorite dog park, watering hole, or take a long stroll through your neighborhood so they can feel at ease.
Especially if your dog is high energy and anxiety (looking at you, Border Collies!), this tip is key. Get that energy out early; the more energy spent chasing a ball in the morning, the less they'll have to spend stressing about fireworks in the evening.
Cats: Indoor or outdoor?
Outdoor-only? We still suggest that you prep a litter box and have your kitty inside well before dusk. Usually, cats will hide away until the fireworks show is over.
Indoor only? Crack open a window for them during the morning and afternoon - preferably one with a screen so there are no escapees! This will give them lots of stimulation of sights and smells before the celebration starts.
If your feline is an indoor/outdoor kitty, make sure they get lots of fresh air before you put them up for the night.
2. Double check your pet's ID 🔍
Double check that your pet's collar is appropriately snug and that their tags are legible and up-to-date. You should be able to fit no more than two fingers snugly under your pet's collar.
And if you haven't already, get your pet microchipped. If in a worst-case scenario your pet breaks free from your home or yard, a microchip is your sure-fire ticket to getting them back.
Also - it’s the perfect time to update any information registered to their microchip.
3. Distractions, distractions... 🥳
If your pet has a favorite toy, have it on hand to give them comfort. Pets usually just want to hide away, especially cats, and having something they know and love in a safe space can really help.
Interactive toys offer hours of long-lasting, brain-stimulating entertainment for dogs and cats of any size.
Busy toys for cats include catnip, scratch pads, and silver vine. These are very stimulating and can really give them something to do while all the fireworks are popping off.
Give your dog something to chew on. You can stuff our busy toys with treats, frozen bone broth, or good ol’ fashion peanut butter (xylitol-free, of course) to keep your pet’s attention and incentivize them to keep playing.
4. Take a chill pill... 🧘
Literally. Seek out a supplement that will help keep your pet calm in loud, stressful situations using hemp oil or blend of calming herbs. Bonus: many of these supplements can also support a number of issues including appetite and pain relief.
For dogs, we suggest:
For cats, we suggest:
5. Give them some space ↔️
Create a safe space where your pet can destress on July 4th. This might be their usual sleeping spot or perhaps under furniture. Once they are settled, give them some space to decompress.
Does your dog sleep in or enjoy their crate? Try keeping them crated for the fireworks show, preferably in a dark, quiet room.
Felines will undoubtedly find a spot under your bed, couch, or in their favorite napping spot and stay there until it's all over. Just keep them comfy and let them mellow out.
6. Come on, feel the (white) noise 🔊
Turn on the TV, or better yet, crank up the white noise machine.
This is a great way to help distract your cat and pup from outdoor noises of 4th of July. The noise helps to dissipate the firework booms from outside.
Don't own a white noise machine? Search "white noise" or "brown noise" in Spotify or Apple Music and play it over your TV or stereo speakers.
What do I do if you find a pet without a tag?
Swing by your local Tomlinson's store and we will check for a microchip! This is a free service we provide at every location.
Call Austin Animal Center - they specialize in reuniting pet parents with their furry lost friends.
What do I do if my pet goes missing?
This is the worst-case scenario. But, if your pet happens to go missing, there are several things you can do to make sure they return home safely, and soon.
Search the City of Austin's Missing Pets Page
Text 'lostatx' to 47177
The City of Austin will send over texts with proven tips that guide you through the pet-finding process.
Post on Social MediaPost on Austin Lost and Found Pets Facebook, Nextdoor, PawBoost and Craigslist both in ‘Pets’ and ‘Lost and Found’.
Contact Local Shelter
Want to share these tips with other pet parents? Save our infographic below and share on your feed!
Tomlinson's is your go-to pet supply store for natural, healthy pet products in Austin and the Central Texas region. Let us help prepare you and your pet for your the upcoming celebrations of the Fourth of July holiday online or in-store. Pet owners: keep in mind that will always close on July 4th!
Visit our shop full of products sold through team members trained in animal nutrition. Pass by our stores with your adorable pet for some treat samples and loving ear rubs.