Composure for your July 4th

By Karin Krisher

Whether you’re a veterinarian or one of our loyal pet-owning fans (or both), you’ve likely come to recognize the temper flare that arrives every year around this time.

Fear is a scary thing. It can turn even the most tranquil cats into frenzied felines, the most peaceful dogs into cantankerous canines, and the most docile horses into edgy equine. If you’re one of the thousands of people who’ve seen dogs, cats and horses make a run for it at the crack of thunder or the sudden burst of a celebratory fireworks display, you know that this can turn your holiday (and theirs) into a literal cat and mouse game that doesn’t always have a simple solution—or a winner.

Keep Your Composure

As we sidle up to July in the familiar fashion, there’s a lot to celebrate: The heat, the family gatherings, the sunshine—and of course, our nation’s Independence Day. But while others pass the potato salad after a cool dip in the pool, pet owners are gearing up for the tirade of anxious behavior (and possible stampedes) that can be caused by the stress of a loud surprise or the parade crowd waving flags. This Fourth of July also brings us a full moon, so we’re in for double trouble.

If your companion animal (or any that you know!) experiences stress at this time of year, don’t panic. This type of behavior (running, crying, sleeping, aggressive attitude, etc.) is a normal fear response. Before the fireworks and barbecue season begins, think about your pets’ behavior during times of increased stress.

Do they tend to run away? Sleep all day? Urinate in places that you would rather they just didn’t? Whatever your pets’ reactions, respond to them appropriately. For example, if your dog tends to get restless when you have visitors, try to tucker him out with a Frisbee game in the park before the guests arrive. If your cat cowers beneath the couch when the fireworks begin, consider taking him to a friend’s place so he’s out of earshot.

Most importantly, if you have any fear of your animal exiting the scene without warning, be sure she or he has either a microchip or classic proper identification that contains clear, legible contact information.

Finally, consider supplemental support. Vetri-Science Laboratories’ Composure chews are incredibly popular this time of year, and with good reason. They’re delicious (so while you’re enjoying blueberry pie your pup won’t feel left out) and they provide calming support for pets exposed to environmental stress. We also offer this supplement in a paste for horses, a liquid, and in a human version, so you too can keep your cool.

If your dog is alongside you on the blanket while you revel in the glow of the park at night, take a moment to think about his needs. And then make a move. We can all agree that everyone deserves to celebrate summer in peace.

Has your pet, or a pet you’ve treated before, ever lost it a little bit? How did you respond? Tell us your story in a comment!