Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Life

Fireworks Can Spark Dog Anxiety on the 4th

No Fourth of July seems complete without fireworks, but you need to prepare for dog anxiety to make sure your four-legged friends stay safe.

Dog anxiety can quickly increase on the Fourth of July.

Some dogs are particularly sensitive to the sound of thunder. On July 4th, fireworks can sound like an extended thunderstorm and can cause your pets to panic.

My Collie is not a fan of thunder at all. The same goes for the sound of fireworks. Whenever he hears either, he’ll come to me wherever I am and sit and stare at me with this pleading look in his eyes. It’s as if he’s saying, “Please, make it stop!”

In fact, that’s probably exactly what he’s saying. But because he’s an inside dog, he feels fairly safe despite those terrible sounds outside. Years ago, my parents had a little Maltese/Shih Tzu mix who was absolutely terrified of those sounds, despite being an inside dog. He was so scared of thunder and fireworks that he’d go sit in a corner and visibly shiver from the fear. You could pick him up and hold him and talk to him to try to ease his fear, but he still would tremble for a while.

Manufacturers have a variety of items for sale to help comfort those trembling pets. Some, I’m sure, work much better than others.

In my dog’s case, he wants me, not some blanket or device, to ease his nerves.

Not all dogs stay indoors. And in cases of dogs who have no problem staying within the territory of their own yard 364 days a year, on a day like July 4th, those sounds could make them bolt.

We’re told dog anxiety from fireworks leads to problems in animal shelters on dates like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, when spooked pets flee from their homes and wind up in animal shelters hoping their owners will find them.

In fact, some shelters have been offering discounted adoption rates leading up to July 4th to make room for the influx of stray animals they expect to host after they’ve been separated from their families out of sheer terror.

So if you have a four-legged friend of your own, please make sure to keep him inside tonight (or perhaps over the next few nights) while fireworks are being blasted. Hopefully, you’ve already microchipped your pet, but even if you have, a collar tag with your pet’s name and your telephone number is a great way to help make sure you’re reunited faster if you’re separated.

And if you plan on shooting off fireworks, you might consider reaching out to your neighbors who have outside dogs and just let them know of your plans. Hopefully, they’ll take the cue and move their pups inside during the fireworks just to be safe.

That way, people and their pets can have a better chance to enjoy Independence Day!

I hope yours is a happy one.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.