As the Fourth of July approaches, many people love to celebrate with fireworks. Though this is an exciting time of year for us, our furry family members might not think the same thing. Our dog’s safety around fireworks is just as important as our own.
As you may have heard, more dogs end up in shelters during and after the 4th of July because they tend to get scared and bolt out of their homes. Just like loud noises scare people, the loud noise and bright lights that fireworks make cause dogs to get anxiety. Some common signs of anxiety are pacing, trembling, panting excessively, drooling, or hiding when something in their everyday environment changes. If your pet shows any of the signs of anxiety mentioned, make an appointment with San Marco Animal Hospital to discuss how to help your pet handle the stress of loud and sudden noises.
Some pets can benefit from Drug Free alternatives to help keep them calm, and others may need prescription-strength medication. Some medications can take a few hours to start working, and other medications can take several weeks to have a therapeutic effect. Speaking with a doctor at San Marco Animal Hospital ahead of time will give you the peace of mind to know that you have the knowledge and right medication or remedy for your pet, and you will have it on hand before the noises and stress factors of the celebrations even begin. It is also important to remember that you never want to give any of your own prescriptions or over the counter medication to your pet, doing so may prove harmful and even fatal.
The best thing you can do for your dog during fireworks is staying calm. Dogs can sense fear, so if they sense that you are scared, they will start to panic as well. If you jump up or get tense when you hear fireworks because you’re anticipating your dog’s reaction, they will only panic more. You should also remember to respect your dog’s fear. If he or she wants to hide under a bed or in a crate, allow it. Don’t try to pull your dog out to try to get him used to the sounds. It will only make it worse for them.
Avoiding fireworks during the 4th of July is almost impossible. Even if you don’t do them yourself, there will almost always be someone within a 1-mile radius of you lighting fireworks. However, you can distract your dog from hearing and seeing the fireworks. When fireworks start, usually around 6, turn up the TV or radio to tune out the sound of fireworks to keep your dog from panicking. It is also a good idea to close blinds and curtains to keep your dog from seeing the lights in the sky. The best thing to do is to stay home with your dog to provide comfort and support.
We understand that staying home on such a big holiday is not for everybody. If you can’t stay with your dog through the night, here are some tips to make sure your dog is calm. One thing we highly recommend doing is exercising your dog before fireworks start. Most people start setting off fireworks at around 6 in the evening. Getting in a good workout before they start will make your dog tired. Tired dogs are usually calmer and quieter. Another precaution that you should take is making sure your dog is wearing an ID tag with its name, your name, and your phone number on it. Making sure your dog is microchipped is also important. If your pet is not microchipped San Marco Animal Hospital can complete that service for you when you come in to speak with one of our doctors regarding your pet’s anxiety issues.