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Preparing your pet for 4th of July
For many people, nothing beats a 4th of July cookout with friends and family. While your pet is part of the family, the reality is this could be a potentially hazardous day for your pets to be part of the festivities.
Your San Marcos dog walker wants to provide you with some tips to keep your pet(s) safe and stress-free.
Practice / Prepare your pet BEFORE the fun begins:
- Desensitize your pet: Try playing a CD of fireworks or visit youtube for videos. On the show “It’s me or the Dog,” they used the CD method to desensitize a dog to thunderstorms. Start with it on low for a short duration. As your pet gets more comfortable you can increase the duration and/or volume. If your pet shows fear, lower the volume until your pet is more comfortable.
- Anxiety methods: There are several natural methods you can use instead of powerful drugs. The natural methods should help relax them without knocking them out or impairing them. Tip: Cooled chamomile tea can help them relax. The bonus is if their nerves get the best of their tummy, it helps with that too!
- Crate: If you choose to use a crate or carrier, let your pet get familiar with this before you plan to use it. Closing a pet inside before they are ready could lead to your pet getting sick from stress, howling, crying and scratching/damaging their carrier and themselves.
- Current pictures of your pet: Should your pet escape, you can use this to make flyers. If you download the picture to your phone, this is another way to show people when you are out looking for your precious pets.
- [box]WE got you covered! Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails pet sitting & dog walking clients can visit our Facebook Fan Page to get a picture. Simply tag yourself in the photo and presto you have a current photo of your pets.[/box]
Tips for the day of the festivities:
- Drain their energy: A long walk or good game of fetch will help drain their energy. An exercised pet is a happy pet!
- Don’t baby them: Treat them the same as you would every other day. Some experts think “coddling” them while they are in a fearful state tells your pet it is okay to feel that way.
- Pet Retreat: Keep them in a separate room in a quiet area of the house. Provide your pets with food, water, toys, and play some relaxing music to keep them stress-free.
- Drown out the sound: Use a fan, TV, or radio to block out the fireworks.
- “Hairy” Houdini: If you want your pet to be included, be extremely cautious when opening the door for guests or leaving them in the back yard. If the flight response kicks, you will find your pet can prove to escape from anything like he/she is Harry Houdini.
- Pet Id: Ensure your pet’s information is current and tags are attached securely to your pet. If your pet bolts out the door or jumps the fence, an up to date dog tag or micro chip will be essential. Many times pets will be picked up by a fellow animal lover or end up at the local Animal Control/Humane Society. Having current identification will help speed up the process of reuniting you with your pet(s).
- Counter surfing: It is hard to resist snacking when yummy food is sitting out. Your pet may find it hard not to indulge in some “scooby snacks” too! To prevent digestive upset, it is best to keep them on their normal diet and avoid too many “treats.”