by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Give your pet extra exercise before the loudest time
Dog parents can take their furry friend on an extended walk before the festivities begin. This helps ensure there will be very little chance of potty breaks during the noisiest times. It also will keep your pet more relaxed because he or she will be ready to sleep, instead of play. For other pets, provide their normal exercise routine for a longer period of time. For instance, have your cat play with kitty toys, put small animals in their exercise ball, or take your horse for a long run/ride.
Keep your pet indoors as much as possible
Dogs may need to go out to use the bathroom. But try to avoid taking your animals outside, especially during the loudest times. You might even consider using training pads instead of taking your pet outdoors for bathroom breaks. Many animals get lost during the Independence Day festivities because they run away, scared of the noises, looking for a safe place to hide. To avoid problems with your pet getting frightened or running away, please keep them inside.
Keep your pet's ID tags on at all times
Your pet's ID tags should be securely placed on the collar and up to date at all times. This is especially important on a day when it's more likely for him or her to run off. Even if your pet is micro-chipped, some people don't know to take them to get scanned. The ID tag is one more measure of safety -- and an important one if someone finds your pet. The phone number and address should always be accurate, so that your pet has a better recovery chance if lost.
Keep your pet in the quietest place of your home
Whichever room takes in the least noise from outdoors would be the best room to house your pet in during the Fourth of July celebration. Close all windows and doors and keep your pet's supplies in there, such as fresh food, water, favorite toys, and a litter box or puppy pads.
Give your pet a busy toy
For dogs, a chew toy or bone may keep them so busy, that it distracts them from the noise. Cats like catnip and things they can chase or bob around, such as toys that are attached to a heavy object. Small animals, like rats or guinea pigs may like flavored chew sticks made especially for them.
Play soothing music
Not only will music help to drown out the outdoor noise, but if you choose the right sounds, it can also keep your pet calm. Just like people, animals respond well to various types of music and can find it comforting and a source of pleasure. You may want to test out different sounds beforehand to ensure you've made selections your pet will respond favorably to.
Give your pet some love
This is hopefully obvious. But when pets are stressed -- and even when they aren't, they want lots of love from their human families. There's nothing more comforting and reassuring than a hug and soothing words from someone you love. You may need to give extra attention to your pets, especially on this day.
Happy Fourth! Stay safe!