Every year the skies light up with beautiful fireworks displays, which we love to watch.
To dogs and cats, these bright light bursts and bangs are terrifying and completely stressful.
And it's not just the big fireworks display events on the 4th of July, but the weeks before and after when individuals love to have their own backyard fireworks' parties.
Dogs can become irrational when frightened. The instinct to run sets in and the need to escape kicks in so hard they will chew through a door or window frame or even break out a window! After the 4th of July,too many dogs can be seen running in a blind panic down
the streets, and stepping out into the streets. Our local shelters are already full to capacity with stray, un-identifiable dogs and cats.
Dogs have super-sensitive ears and can hear sounds up to 4 times the distance as humans can. Loud noises can actually cause pain to their ears!
Here is a list of stress and anxiety behaviors your dog may exhibit:
attention seeking behaviors
loss of appetite
loss of house training
What you don't ever want to do:
-Don't take your dog to a fireworks display.
-Don't punish your dog for being frightened
-Don't try to comfort or reassure your dog with petting or telling them its OK
when frightened as this just re-enforces nervous behavior. Only reward calm behavior.
-Don't leave your dog outside. They will do anything to get out. If your dog lives outside, this would be the time to bring them indoors.
-Don't leave your dog alone if possible.
What you can do:
-Now is a great time to make sure they have an ID tag on their collar.
This should contain a current phone # and address.
-Is your dogs license current? Do you know where your local city
-Are they micro-chipped?
-Bring your dog inside and if possible, don't leave them home alone.
If you have to leave them alone for a few hours, how about in an enclosed room with the curtains drawn and a fan and/or radio, TV on to block out the noise?
-Have a safe place or den for them to hide-like a crate or covering a table with a blanket, or placing their beds behind a sofa so they can feel safe, secure and comfortable.
-Give them food filled toys or special toys to try and occupy them.
-Vets do dispense doggie downers(sedatives) if you have a pet that get highly
There are many holistic calming products on the market now too.
-If necessary, there are vets, dog day care centers, kennels, and dog sitters to safely, care for your animals.
If you lose your dog or find one:
-Make sure you have a current photo to make a flyer. Post flyers!
-Go to your local city shelter.
Ours is North Central Animal Shelter located on 26th St/Lacy St. between Figueroa St. and Broadway. http://www.laanimalservices.com.
-In the event of a medical emergency,do you know where your local 24 hour emergency hospitals are? There is Eagle Rock Emergency, TLC in So.Pasadena, and Animal Specialty Group in Glendale to name a few..
With all that being said, good luck and have fun!
Prepare now so you can have a safe and happy 4th of July.
If you need further help for you and your dog, or have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Dog Training & Behavior Specialist
Handle With Care Dog Training
Director of Animal Welfare/ Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council
Advisor/ Hermon Dog Park
Head Volunteer Trainer/Downtown Dog Rescue