Find a quiet room, unplug the phone, turn on some relaxing music. Lie back, loosen your flea collar and curl up with a good Milkbone.
No, these are not how-to-relax instructions from a stress-management course. These are tips from local veterinarians on how to calm a stressed pet on the Fourth of July.Brett Neville, veterinarian and manager at the All Pet Complex in Kearns, said, "We see some injuries, but mostly just pets suffering from anxiety as a result of the loud noises and lights."
"Some of the animals can get a little gun-shy," he said. "It's different for different animals."
Dennis Law, veterinarian at Cottonwood Animal Hospital, agreed. "Mostly what we see is anxiety. Cats don't show it as much, even though I think they're sometimes even more stressed. They're just not as demonstrative as dogs."
During Fourth of July activities, dogs often become frightened of the loud noises, run off, become disoriented or trash the house while their owners are away, Law said.
To calm your pets while fireworks are going off, the two veterinarians suggest isolating them from the noise by putting them in a bathroom or basement room and playing quiet music or being there to comfort them. As a last resort, the veterinarians suggest giving your pet a tranquilizer to calm them down.
"The vet must do a good physical on the animal first," Neville said, adding that the sedation lasts four to six hours and doesn't knock the animal out, but only keeps it quiet.
"I'm not for drugging a dog . . . but we should afford them this opportunity," Law said.
Law also advised pet owners to keep their animal locked up on the Fourth of July and to not throw firecrackers and other fireworks when an animal is around.
Law said he treated a retriever that had fetched a thrown bottle rocket, which exploded in the dog's mouth. "They (dogs) don't know the difference between a firework and anything else," he warned.
Neville said another common injury is burned pads on dogs' feet from stepping on sparklers that have been thrown on the ground.
"Most injuries are due to plain stupidity by the owner," Neville said.