When Fido is frightened by fireworks, try these 4 tricks

A dog around a bonfire outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.
A dog around a bonfire outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Evan Frost | MPR News File

We may enjoy Fourth of July fireworks and their glittering results, but the loud displays disturb some pets. Social media is buzzing this year with pleas from dog owners to curtail the celebration to help out our furry friends.

While you may not be able to control the booms and bangs in your neighborhood, there are things you can do to help Fido cope with the noisy next few days.

Justine Lee, a veterinarian and CEO of VETgirl joined All Things Considered host Tom Crann to share these tips.

1) Don't take your pet to a fireworks show

"They don't want to be there," Lee said. "They're completely stressed out by the crowds, the loud noises."

2) Keep your pets safe at home

"You want to make sure they're in a dark, quiet, calm room," Lee said, suggesting the most interior room in your home or a basement. She also suggests creating some white noise for your pet using a fan or calming music on the radio to drown out some of the sounds.

3) Try over-the-counter remedies

Talk to your vet about using pheromones or medications that can distract and calm your dog. You can also try purchasing a "thunder shirt" designed to squeeze your animal to help them feel safe.

However, Lee said, just hugging your pet is not an adequate substitute.

"Dogs and cats can pick up on a lot of human emotion, so you squeezing them is probably not the best idea," she said.

4) Make sure your pet is microchipped

July 4 is the number one day that dogs and cats get lost. "You may have a guest coming into the house, they hear the fireworks, and your pet just runs out the door," Lee said.

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