With the 4th of July coming up in a few days, I thought it would be helpful to address Fireworks phobia. Many dogs, cats and birds are afraid of loud noises. They may react to them by becoming agitated, sometimes by exhibiting inappropriate urination or defecation, self mutilating or destructive behavior. Some pets may even have seizures in response to fireworks. Some pets can be helped tolerate fireworks by working with a behaviorist to help desensitize them. Others may be helped by wearing the “thunder-shirt”. However most pets with this phobia need some form of sedative to help get through the day with the least trauma. If your pet suffers from Fireworks phobia, you should see your veterinarian before the 4th to have some form of sedative prescribed. Keep in mind that sedatives can not be dispensed without a recent examination of your pet. If sedatives are prescribed, remember to give them well in advance (2 hours) before you expect the fireworks (or gunshots) to begin. Pets do much better if they are sedated before the phobic trigger is encountered as opposed to trying to calm them down once they are excited.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!