Vets Offer Simple Solutions for Firework Stress

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COLUMBIA - With Independence Day coming up next week, people are already setting off fireworks across the area. But not everybody is enjoying the show. Pets, especially dogs, are very bothered by the booms, hisses, and cracks of fireworks, which makes the Fourth of July a painful experience.

"They hear things we don't hear, and some of those sub-sonic noises or low rumbles...they're scary sounds," said MU College of Vetrinary Medicine professor Richard Meadows. 

Meadows also said that since dogs can hear so much better than humans, the noise from fireworks is extremely loud.

In order to make your dog or other pet comfortable during the holidays, there are several precautions you can take.

Meadows said that the best thing that a pet owner can do is give their pet a toy to take its mind off the noise.

"If you give them their favorite chew toy, or if you play their favorite game with them then they're thinking about that, they're not thinking about the fireworks as much," Meadows said.

Meadows said pet owners can try to drown out the noise of fireworks with the TV or even buy short term medication as well. If you choose to use medication, now is the time to visit your vet.

Meadows added the worst thing a pet owner can do is cuddle or hold his or her pet.

"The more you pet them and encourage that the more it intensifies that is kind of counter intuitive."

As all dogs are different, you should contact your veterinarian if you have any lingering questions about what to do with your pet during the Fourth of July