More pets go missing over the 4th of July weekend than any other days of the year. And, according to the ASPCA, fireworks are the #1 cause of dogs running away from home, with July 5th being the single busiest day for dog shelters across the U.S.
Many dogs are scared of fireworks and other loud noises because they have a heightened sense of hearing that amplifies the sound beyond what we as humans hear. So understandably, this can be traumatic for them, causing extreme fear, stress, and even panic. Not knowing where the sound is coming from, their instinct may be to hide, but often it is to run.
And dogs are not the only ones affected by fireworks. All types of animals, including farm animals, wildlife, and even people, especially those with sensory sensitivities and PTSD, all suffer from the effects of unexpected loud explosions.
How Can I Protect My Dog On The Fourth Of July?
- Never bring your dog anywhere there will be fireworks.
- Do not let them out alone, and keep them on a leash, even if you have a fenced in yard.
- Keep them inside and confined to a single room.
- Secure all doors and windows to prevent them from breaking out if they panic.
- Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, and make sure their microchip is up to date. (If your dog is not microchipped, it is highly recommended that you do so, it could save their life.)
- Have a current photo of your dog, in case they do go missing.
How Can I Keep My Dog Calm During Fireworks?
- Give them a safe place to be, the quieter the better. Some dogs prefer to hide in a closet, or even the bathtub! Allow them to choose their safe place, and put a bowl of water and a comfy bed there for them.
- Exercise your dog prior to the event to tire them out a bit. A sleepy dog will be a calmer dog.
- Play white noise, using a fan, TV or radio to drown out the sounds of fireworks.
- Close curtains to block any flashing lights.
- Try doggy calming products, like Calming Chews For Dogs and Hemp Calming Chews For Dogs. These all-natural products can be given 45 minutes before any type of stressful event.
- If natural calming products do not work for your dog, ask your vet for a sedative. It’s not healthy for dogs to be extremely stressed out, and medications, when used occasionally for times of extreme stress do not only help your dog in the moment, but will also help lessen anxiety in similar situations over time.
- Skip the fireworks yourself and stay home with your pup. Just having you there will be a comfort to them. And remember not to react to the fireworks, or show any type of anxiety that your dog will pick up on.
What if My Dog Runs Away Because of Fireworks?
- Immediately file a report with your local shelters and animal control,
- Post everywhere on social media, and hang signs as fast as you can.
- MAKE SURE you know what TO DO and what NOT TO DO!
The following website is one of the best resources there is for information that can help you successfully bring your dog home.
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