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Advice on calming your pets if they stress over the sound of fireworks

·2 min read

More pets disappear around the Fourth of July than any other time of year, according to the pet finder service Pet Amber Alert.

The company says that fireworks are to blame.

While the celebratory sound of Independence Day could be mesmerizing to us, it could be terrifying to our pets.


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”Pets really do react funny to fireworks,” said Dr. Ralph Sevelius, a dog owner and vet who’s been treating animals for more than 40 years.

“I had a dog come in one time, [he] jumped through glass, sliding glass door to get out the house,” he recalled.

For high-energy pets, he says medication like a sedative or tranquilizer could be a good option.

Read: Woman killed in crash in Oceanway neighborhood

Your vet may prescribe a tranquilizer like Trazodone, which comes in pill form. You could administer your pet one to two pills to your pet to calm them down, one hour before the fireworks begin.

Most importantly, Sevelius emphasizes you should have a conversation with your vet about what works best for your dog, cat or any other animal that you might have at home.

Sydney Bridgeman, for instance, owns two poodles: 6-year-old Heidi and 1-year-old Bucephalus, whom she adopted a week ago.

Read: List: Where to watch fireworks, celebrate Fourth of July in the Jacksonville area in 2022

For them, the dog park is the best antidote for any anxiety.

“We wanna get some of that energy out before all the fireworks start going off,” she said.

If your pets fret, pay them attention.

“Just making him feel calm and safe,” Bridgeman said when describing how she would be extra attentive toward Bucephalus on their first Fourth of July together.

”If your [pet] going crazy, you just have to hold it,” Sevelius recommended.

Also, have a quiet space ready.

“Sometimes it’s good if you put them in an interior room,” Sevelius added.

”We have a guest room in our house and it’s kind of their safe zone,” Bridgeman pointed out.

”I think it’s just about listening to your animal and really seeing how they react to everything,” she elaborated. “We might want to go out and have fun with our friends and our family tonight but [pets] are your family too and you really have to listen to them.”

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