Keeping pets calm on Fourth of July

Options to help your dog enjoy loud festivities

HOUSTON - Owners and their pets were out celebrating the Fourth of July day at Jackson Bark park on Westpark, but come night time most pet owners will bring their dogs inside because they can really get worked up with the loud fireworks.

There are a few options to help your dog enjoy the loud festivities.

Every dog owner seems to have their own trick to keep their four legged friend calm on the fourth of July.

"You know I pick her up or hold her, sometimes just letting her go in the house to get away from them or give her some treats, it helps get her mind off that," said Bonnie Bobbett.

"I give her Benadryl, calms her down helps her sleep and relax," said Mary Losing. "I've been doing that for probably more than a decade."

Some swear by the Thundershirt clothing designed to calm them down, while others turn to anxiety medicine from the vet. There's even a dog appeasing pheromone you can plug into the wall. A smell that just the dogs can pick up of contentment.

Valerie Jenkins adopted her dog, Rio, but nearly lost her when fireworks went off.

"She got so scared, yanked the retractable leash out of my hand and took off running," said Jenkins.

Jenkins found Rio at the pound two days later.

Veterinarian Bill Right said puppies exposed to fireworks are more likely to show fear later in life. His advice is to keep a dog in a crate to give them a sense of comfort.

"You explain to your kids that fireworks are going to be happening, but the dogs don't understand what all is going on and why this day is so much different," said Right.

If a crate is not available, try keeping your dog in an interior room of the house. If you're interested in purchasing a Thundershirt, you can find them at local retailers like Petco, Petsmart and Walmart for about $40.

Local 2's Amy Davis found those pheromone plug-ins between $15 to $20. In full disclosure, customer reviews are mixed for both products, so you'll probably just have to try them out to see if they work for your dog.

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