Most humans look forward to the Fourth of July, but this festive holiday is one of the most dangerous days of the year for your pets. More animals are lost on July 4th than on any other day of the year. Loud noises from fireworks frighten animals due to their heightened senses of hearing, and some will do almost anything to escape from the noise. Their behavior is often out of character and unpredictable and may include chewing though a leash, jumping through screens or windows, digging under or climbing over) a fence, bolting away from a caregiver, and running into traffic. Here are a few simple guidelines to make the day happier for your dog:
- Do NOT take her to any fireworks display. The rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air are downright scary to dogs who can hear sounds up to 60,000 cycles per second—that’s three times greater than the human ear can even register. Imagine how loud it sounds to your dog!
- Do NOT leave your pet in the car….on the Fourth or on any other day. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air. The temperatures can reach deadly limits in just minutes, and if the dog panics, he could also destroy the interior of your vehicle!
- Do NOT set off fireworks in an area where your dog is, not even the small, supposedly harmless varieties. “Harmless” often results in injuries, both for humans and dogs. Exposure to any lighted fireworks can result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious dogs, and even unused fireworks usually contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals. It is safer to attend events that are organized and supervised by professionals, and forget the backyard fireworks.
- Do NOT leave your pet outdoors, even in a fenced area, or on a chain. If the dog panics, he could injure himself by getting tangled in the chain, or he could run away, only to end up alone and lost. Keep him indoors in a safe, quiet place. Ideally someone would stay home with him, but if this is not possible, make the room a comfortable sanctuary with a soft bed, food and water, and a couple of his favorite toys. Be sure the windows and drapes are closed. Some pets become destructive when frightened, so remove any things that your pet could destroy or might be harmful to him if chewed. Turn on the radio or TV or music. We suggest a unique CD which is lullaby music played to the rhythm of an actual heartbeat. I have tried many CD’s that claim to “make dogs happy,” or “calm dogs down”, but most are simply people pleasers. Canine Lullabies actually works. For more information about this product, go to www.caninelullabies.com or call toll free 1-800-537-7748. Actually I would suggest going to the web site to get basic info and then call and visit with Terry. You’ll be glad you did.
- Do be sure that your pets are wearing identification tags with current information, so that if somehow they do get lost, they can be returned. Two forms of ID are always best when it involves protecting your animal. If someone finds him, the first thing looked for is a tag. If the dog is taken to a shelter, he will also be scanned for a microchip.
- If you have friends or neighbors who often leave their animals outdoors, explain the dangers involved. Perhaps they have not even thought about the distress that fireworks can cause for their animals.
Every year, many pets are injured, lost, or even killed on this day of celebratory booms, pops and bangs. Exercise caution, common sense, and compassion to make this a safe, happy holiday for both humans and canines.