July 4th A Problem For Pets?

Posted on June 27th, 2014


Before, during, and after July 4th, fireworks are often ignited, resulting in very loud, significant sounds.

Unfortunately, many pets are terrified of loud sounds and whether the loud sound is due to thunderstorms or the igniting of fireworks, the pets will try to escape that sound.

I have seen pets during the time of thunderstorms and fireworks, do anything from trying to hide somewhere under the bed, to trying to escape the sound, by jumping through a glass window in the house or apartment in hopes of escaping the sound.

I remember many years ago, one of my patients, a bearded collie, jumped twice through a glass window on the second floor of the house. Fortunately the dog only experienced a few minor cuts and scratches.

This is a very frequent situation that does occur with thunderstorms and in and around the 4th of July with fireworks.

Fortunately, most pet owners are aware of their pet’s fear, and will seek help from their veterinarian before storms and fireworks.

Many times, tranquilizers are prescribed.

Other times, when owners do not want to use tranquilizers, antihistamines will be prescribed instead.

If either tranquilizers or antihistamines are prescribed, the owner must first test the prescription ahead of time, to insure that the prescription will be effective at the time it is needed.

Over the years, in practice, I have found a much less invasive way to help these animals reduce the impact of loud sounds.

This can be easily accomplished by applying a fairly thick ear ointment to both the pet’s ears, twice daily during the time of thunderstorms and fireworks.

The ointment will coat the tympanic membrane (ear drum), which will effectively muffle any loud sounds.

Some people use mineral oil, which will do a similar thing, however it is not quite as effective as a thicker type of ointment.

Your veterinarian will be able to supply you with a thicker ear ointment, only if it is something you do not already have.

Once the loud sounds have dissipated, the ear ointment can be easily flushed out of both ears and normal hearing will be restored.

Muffling the ear drums of your pet during the times of loud sounds, may provide you with the opportunity to use something less invasive then a systemic product, but if necessary, the ointment, tranquilizers and antihistamines, can be used together, without fear of causing any side effects.

I hope these suggestions will better help your pet during times of loud noises.

These are only my thoughts.


Dr. AL Plechner