I had forgotten how much work a new puppy is! It’s constant vigilance. Athena was so easy in comparison. It’s like she came ready made to us four years ago. And Juniper is only two but that transition was sweet – it was fun watching her become an integral part of our family. Now we’re a seven-some. Four humans and three indoor pets all finding our way together. It’s not smooth or perfect, but it’s real and messy and sort of lovely. With a new pup in the house getting a lot of focus, it makes me think more about our adult pets and how they’re coping not only with the new family member, but with all of the changes in the season. Summer can be tough for pets with new routines, uncomfortable heat, and the holiday fireworks.
1 – Create a safe environment for your pets during fireworks. We put our dogs in a crate with favorite chew toys and I even turn on the white noise machine! Sometimes I’ll play nice, soothing music that seems to block out the noise.
2 – Give your dog a special treat or toy during fireworks. My mom uses the toys that you put treats or peanut butter in (treat balls) and the dogs get focused on retrieving their treat or peanut butter, and they don’t seem bothered by outside noise.
3 – Model calm. I know that sounds silly but I do that for my kids too. I model behavior. Dogs and cats are super intuitive to our emotions. If we are freaking out visibly, or even hiding it, they can pick up on it easily.
4 – Consider a special article of clothing for your pets. For Juniper, I leave her with a shirt that has my scent all over it. When I travel, I’m told that she curls up inside it and uses it as a blanket. That really warms the heart!
5 – Try FELIWAY® CLASSIC for cats and ADAPTIL® for dogs.
FELIWAY® CLASSIC mimics the natural feline facial pheromone that cats use to mark their territory as safe and secure. This helps cats cope with challenging situations, like loud fireworks, and moving/traveling/new family members, etc. You’ll love it because it creates a state of familiarity and security, and that helps to comfort and reassure cats as they cope with these challenging situations. And it might lead to the reduction or elimination of unwanted stress-related behaviors.
FELIWAY® CLASSIC Spray can be applied to your cat’s bedding or favorite toy to reduce stress at home. We also use FELIWAY® Diffusers in our house. I keep one spray and one diffuser plugged in by my desk where Juniper has her bed.
Then there’s ADAPTIL® for Athena. This is a copy of the natural canine-appeasing pheromone that dogs know from birth, and that helps them feel more safe and secure in their surroundings. It creates a state of familiarity and security, which helps to comfort and reassure dogs when they cope with challenging situations – like loud noises, travel, and vet visits – and is clinically proven to reduce or eliminate unwanted stress-related behaviors like excessive licking, hiding, trembling, barking, destroying items, decreased appetite, and house soiling. I have never had a dog that didn’t react to fireworks in some way.
ADAPTIL® comes in several easy-to-use forms, like ADAPTIL® Travel Spray to apply to your dog’s bedding or toys and ADAPTIL® Calm On-the-go Collar for traveling. There is also a diffuser for ADAPTIL®, like there is for FELIWAY® CLASSIC.
We still don’t know what summer will be like with Astro in the house, but I feel prepared to find out. I’ve had a lot of experience with Athena and Juniper throughout their lives, and I know that we have the right mixture of products and support!
ADAPTIL® and FELIWAY® products are available through your veterinarian. To find ADAPTIL® near you, check it out here. You can also find FELIWAY® near you here. ADAPTIL® and FELIWAY® are also available at PetSmart and Amazon.