Abilene veterinarian gives tips on preparing your pet for Fourth of July fireworks shows

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Abilene dog owners and veterinarians say they’re preparing their pets for the upcoming fireworks shows.

It’s almost the Fourth of July and dogs and cats could get startled by the firework shows, causing them to run off.

Abilene dog owners Jim Richard and his wife Peggy love spending time with their dog Johnny. They have had him for 14 years and say if they ever lost him, they would be devastated.

“Johnny is the only dog we have left, at one time we had 5,” Richard said.

He says the other dogs they had were small and didn’t react well to loud noises. With the Fourth of July right around the corner, Richard’s wife Peggy wants to be prepared so Johnny doesn’t experience the same thing.

“They’re not ready for that loud boom and it scares them to death. We’ve had two dogs have near heart attacks and they didn’t quit shaking for over an hour,” Peggy said.

Abilene vet Lynn Lawhon says over the years he’s seen fireworks shows getting bigger and bigger and more dogs reacting to it.

“Yes this time of year we’ve already had numerous requests, people calling saying, ‘Is there something available? What can we do?’ It’s pretty typical,” Lawhon said.

For pet owners concerned about this, Lawhon recommends a product called Sileo. He tells owners to do a trial dose based on the pet’s body weight.

“It basically is a sedative for your dog and I have had tremendous success with this product. It is a little gel, you put a little between the cheek and gum,” Lawhon says.

As for Peggy Richards, though, she says it’s important to be there for your dogs when that noise comes.

“Put your arm around your dog and hold them close and let them know that you’re there and it’s OK,” Peggy said.

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