Happy 4th of July Everyone!
This annual patriotic celebration should be enjoyable for all but what makes humans happy has the totally opposite effect on many of our beloved pets. For them it can be a period of total fear and panic. It’s probably one of the times that our senior furry friends are actually grateful for age-related hearing loss!
If your dog is unhappy, you are unhappy so the following tips may help them cope:
Go for a ride in the car
This seems to help insulate dogs from the noise. Drive to an area away from the fireworks if possible. Alternatively, put on the radio or simply talk to your furry best friend, which will help distract them.
Keep pets indoors.
Provide a comfortable hiding place to get your furry friend away from the mayhem. Either place their bed or crate in a room with no windows, or with the windows/blinds/curtains closed. You can also cover the cage with a blanket to muffle the loud bangs and blank out the glare of bright fireworks.
Dogs seem to have a sixth sense and flee to their favorite (often peculiar!) hideaway before the fireworks even start. Mine squeezes into the leg space of my desk so, I just ensure that I put his favorite blanket there well in advance, and he’s as snug as a bug with his treat-filled kong to keep him distracted.
Many dogs just love to escape to their crate because it’s basically their equivalent of a “man cave” – an enclosed, snug and private hideaway, surrounded by their favorite toy and chew.
The noise of firework displays is akin to a war zone for your pooch! It’s loud for us, so just think what it’s like for them with; they can hear two times better than us and sounds at distances about four times farther away!
The normal reaction to fear is “fight or flight”. You certainly don’t want them anywhere near fireworks (even burned out ones!) and you don’t want them running away in a frenzied attempt to escape the noise.
Please be super careful and ensure your dog is wearing identification AT ALL TIMES. Even if your dog is inside or in the yard, a loud bang can make them bolt. A micro-chip is very helpful but if they also have a tag on a collar with your contact number on, then this will ensure the speediest safe return to you AND help reduce the burden on animal rescue centers at one of their busiest times of the year.
Fearful dogs may benefit from a synthetic pheromone called Adaptil, which mimics the sebaceous gland secretions given off by mother dogs as they nurse. It’s thought to have a calming effect.
Consult your veterinarian if your have an extremely fearful dog who harm themselves or become destructive, to advise on the suitability of any calming medication.
Wishing you and your canine companions safe and happy celebrations!
Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team