Many residents are excited that the Ventura Fireworks are back and are looking forward to August and the light displays brought about by Ventura County Fair! We, however, know a few furry residents who may not be so keen on the idea of these sparkly displays. The 2016 4th of July Fireworks Show and Family Picnic at Ventura College will open it’s gates at 5pm with the show scheduled to start at about 9pm. Once the fireworks start, you may notice some strange behaviors in your pet. Fireworks can cause high anxiety and fear in many of our patients. Shelters around the U.S. see a noticeable increase in intakes due to pets that escape as a result of anxiety from the noise of fireworks. We offer the following suggestions for easing your pets’ anxieties and keeping your escape artist at bay during this holiday weekend.
Know the changes you should look for in your pet.
The signs of anxiety include – pacing, trembling, panting, drooling, vocalization, climbing, hiding and bolting. For most animals, it can be difficult to pin point the source of the sounds. Pets outdoors may clamor to get inside for safety while those inside will likely try to get out fearing that the source is inside their home. Our recommendation is that you keep your pet confined in a safe area within your home. If your pet is crate-trained, place them in their crates. Otherwise, a bathroom is a safe alternative. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with your contact number on it. Microchips are also encouraged since they cannot be accidentally removed.
- Synthetic pheromone sprays such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs are available at Anacapa Animal Hospital and some local pet retailers. Synthetic pheromones mimic the phermones of the lactating female dog and happy cat, giving pets a sense of well-being and comfort. These are the same pheromones we have diffused throughout our clinic and may help calm those patients with less severe noise aversions.
- Thunder Jackets are pressure wraps for dogs that have the calming effect of a great big hug. You can find these at local pet stores such as the Ventura Pet Barn. There are DIY Ace bandage wraps that can be tried as well but we recommend your pet be under close supervision while wearing them.
- Music is also a great behavioral modifier for pets and a simple method to lessen the intimidating sounds. Playing music with a regular beat may disguise the sounds of the loud firework bursts if you are far enough away.
- If your pet has extreme reactions to fireworks, there are short-term sedatives that can be given prior to the firework show to help your pet cope with their aversions to fireworks. The most common oral medications are Acepromazine, Xanax and Valium. We also carry a new oral mucosal gel that can be applied on your pets gums called Sileo. If you are concerned about your pet’s fireworks phobia, contact our office to determine what solution would be best for your pet. If your pet has been previously prescribed these medications at our clinic, click here to request a refill.
Holiday Hours: OPEN, Saturday July 2nd 8am-5pm. CLOSED, Sunday July 3rd. & Monday July 4th.
We hope you have a Happy and Safe Holiday!