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Girl and dog watching fireworks over lake

Fireworks and pet anxiety

Q: Clyde, our 5-year-old Pit Bull, trembles and paces during fireworks shows next door. How can we keep him calm?

A: A family member bored by fireworks can take Clyde for a drive through quiet neighborhoods far from traditional Fourth of July displays.

If that’s not possible, keep Clyde indoors with the windows and curtains closed and the air conditioner or fans running. He may feel more comfortable in the basement or an interior closet filled with your scent.

Muffle the fireworks sounds with Mutt Muffs or cotton balls in Clyde’s ears. Then turn on the television, radio or stereo to cover the outdoor noise. Distract Clyde with games and toys. When he’s quiet, give him especially yummy treats.

To promote relaxation, use Adaptil, a pheromone available as a bandana spray or collar. ThunderShirts and Anxiety Wraps may also be calming.

Editor’s Note: Here are some additional pet stress relief tips for calming anxious pets.

If you’re concerned these measures won’t be enough, talk with your veterinarian about medication. Options are pills or a gel applied between the cheek and gums.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

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