The 4th of July can be an exciting time for Americans, but it can be scary for our pets. Fireworks are loud even from a distance, and for pets who have little understanding of fireworks, it can be a frightening experience.
If you are looking for ideas to keep your rabbit calm during the holidays, you have come to the right place. This article outlines eight tips for minimizing your rabbit’s stress and even discusses how to spot the signs of stress in your rabbit. So, let’s hop in!
The 8 Ways to Calm Your Rabbit During the 4th of July Fireworks
1. Keep Your Rabbit Inside
The first and arguably most important tip is to keep your rabbit inside. Leaving your rabbit outdoors during fireworks is bound to cause a lot of stress, as the noises will be even louder. Plus, the bright lights in the sky may startle her, whereas inside, you can close the window blinds.
Not to mention, keeping her inside helps to keep her safe. If she were to run off during the fireworks due to fear, she might get lost or hurt.
2. Provide Hiding Spots for Your Rabbit
If you do not already have little hiding spots for your rabbit, now would be a great time to make some for her. The hiding spots allow your rabbit to feel protected, giving her a sense of security as the fireworks go off.
Beyond the 4th of July and fireworks, having hiding spots for your rabbit helps her feel safer in her daily life. Knowing that she has a place to hide when stressed gives her the confidence to be more adventurous.
3. Play Soothing Music or White Noise
It can be helpful to try and drown out the sound of the fireworks entirely with calming music or white noise. Although you will likely not be able to completely cover up the fireworks, providing other noise helps to lessen its power.
If you can play sounds that your rabbit is already accustomed to, that is even better. If the sounds you play are ones your rabbit enjoys, she may be able to ignore the fireworks and remain calm.
4. Use Distractions
Distractions may be helpful to keep your rabbit from becoming stressed or afraid. Toys, playtime, or treats can go a long way to helping your rabbit to forget about the fireworks, especially if you hide the treats and give your rabbit a scavenger hunt to find them.
If you think your rabbit is focused enough, maybe you two can participate in some training exercises. Do some tricks she already knows to keep things relaxed, and be sure to reward her.
5. Give Your Rabbit Things To Chew On
Even if you provide plenty of distractions and other noises for your rabbit, she may have moments where she has some nervous energy. Instead of discouraging her from burning off some of the energy, you should provide her with the tools to do so.
If your rabbit has something to chew on, she will be able to calm her nerves by chewing. This familiar activity can help her to remain calm during the loud fireworks.
6. Give Your Rabbit Things To Dig Into
Much like the previous tip, offering your rabbit something to dig into is an excellent way to help her burn some energy and keep her distracted.
This is where treats may come in handy. If you can bury some of her treats in her bedding or other areas, she will have something to dig for. Plus, her exercise will be rewarded with a tasty treat at the end, keeping her content despite all the noise.
7. Desensitize Your Rabbit to Loud Sounds
If you have time before the 4th of July, it may be a good idea to desensitize your rabbit to loud sounds.
Start slowly by playing some familiar sounds at a reasonable volume. When she is used to that, you can change the sounds and volume. Gradually increase the volume and monitor her as she adjusts. If she does not seem frightened by the noise, she will likely become desensitized to it. This will help her to adapt when the 4th of July celebrations start.
8. Stay Home With Your Rabbit
The best thing you can do for your rabbit during this stressful time is to stay at home with her. If you know that the fireworks will frighten her, you should do your best to stay with her when the celebrations begin.
Your presence will be one of the greatest comforts to her. If she is alone when the fireworks begin, her isolation may make her even more frightened than she normally would be.
4 Signs of Fear in Your Rabbit
There are several ways your rabbit may display fear. During the fireworks, watch out for the following to determine if she needs comfort.
- Thumping – Thumping is when your rabbit kicks her back legs.
- Alertness – If your rabbit’s body language is tense or alert, that is a good sign that she is stressed. Her ears will likely be facing forward, and she may be raised up on her legs.
- Hiding – Like many animals, rabbits tend to hide when they are overwhelmed.
- Aggression – Uncharacteristic growling or swatting may be a sign that your rabbit is afraid.
No pet owner likes to see their furry friend afraid. Thankfully, you can take steps to minimize your rabbit’s fear, such as providing distractions or other, more comfortable noises to drown out stressful sounds. It can be easy to feel useless when our pets are scared, as we can’t tell them everything will be alright, but being present with your rabbit while she is scared will do more for her than words ever could.
Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels