Every year on the 4th of July America's skies are bright with fireworks, sparklers and Roman candles as we celebrate Independence Day. Bangs, explosions and bright lights are accompanied by screams, sirens and howling dogs throughout the country. Dogs tend not to like fireworks. Fact: Every year dogs along with many other animals experience fear and confusion, sometimes alone when their owners are away enjoying an organized event. It is not unusual for dogs to run away from home after being frightened by fireworks. Another problem for dogs is the fact that fireworks seem to be going off for a few days leading up to July 4th as well, so there is no way of knowing exactly when your dog might be subjected to a loud bang. Below are some suggestions to help ensure that your pets can get through the fireworks unscathed.
- Do NOT take your dog to a fireworks display.
- It is a good idea to bring outdoor pets inside during the fireworks. Always remember how acute a dog's sense of hearing is. A loud bang to us can feel like a volcano erupting to a dog.
- It may be hard, but try and stay with your dog during the fireworks. Your presence will help to calm your dog and while the noise may still frighten him, he will feel better and recover faster with you there. Do not inadvertently encourage your dog's fear by petting, cooing, or using a praise voice. Instead, use a neutral tone. Engage the dog in his favorite game, like fetch or hide and seek.
- Always make sure your dog has his own special area where he can go to feel safe. Be it a crate or a place under the stairs, dogs love to have a den at their disposal.
- Keep the windows and curtains closed during fireworks displays, as this will lessen the effect of the noise and bright flashes.
- Normal household noises like TV or music can help to distract from the loud noises coming from outside.
- Make sure your pet has identification on him. Dogs do run away from home because of fireworks. Even dogs that have previously shown no fear of fireworks can occasionally take flight at the loud noises and flashes in the sky.