Helping Our Pets During the Fireworks
It’s probably safe to say that our Independence Day festivities are going to be big this year. With our country getting back on its feet after the pandemic, folks are keen to see and celebrate with family and friends. Many may be inclined to go ‘big’ on the firecrackers this summer.
We get that…but our pets don’t.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Even though some pets appear to have ‘selective hearing’, dogs, in particular, have a very acute audible range. Comparatively, humans are nearly deaf. So, just for a moment, imagine having a microphone and a cranked-up amplifier of the sound of fireworks right next to you. Would you think that it might be too loud? Probably so. This could be a good way to empathize with your dog (cats too) when it comes to using fireworks.
As humans, we know that we’re about to hear loud noises and can protect our ears in preparation. Each and every ‘POP’, ‘BANG’, ‘BOOM’ is a surprise to our animals, so they can get understandably upset. With the smells of smoke and the vibrations from being in close proximity to the massive public pyrotechnic displays, to them, the world is coming to an end.
“More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety.” ~CesarsWay.com
Animals process things differently than humans do. If loud noises are used with a dog or cat for disciplinary purposes, how will they know the difference between fireworks? If they bolt out of fear, they could put themselves, or the children chasing them, in danger.
What NOT to Do…
If your dog or cat is already particularly anxious, fireworks could just send them over the edge.
- Don’t punish the dog for being frightened.
- Don’t try to desensitize them by making loud noises. This kind of training takes time and patience to be effective. A few days before a planned event is not enough.
- Don’t force the animal to come out of a hiding place until they’re ready.
Try these instead…
We know you love your pets and want to include them in your family activities. Experts say that the following are best practices for your animals with respect to fireworks.
- Walk and play with them during the day when the fireworks are not as frequent. Love them up.
- Leave them at home if you plan to go to a large gathering or public place with fireworks. Even if your dog is acclimated to these kinds of situations, other dogs in the area may not be. Puppies especially may learn to fear loud noises if another dog is demonstrating that same fear. Best for everyone’s sanity to just keep the pooches at home. Even better if a trusted person can stay with them.
- Give them a place to hide, like a kennel or room where they feel safe. Soundproof the room or area as much as possible, and close windows and shades. If you’re using a kennel box, be sure to leave one part open so they can see out.
- Surround them with favorite toys or even an item of clothing from a family member. Having something to chew on to release anxiety can help curb destructive behavior or self-harm.
- If you must bring your pet, be sure their ID is secure and current in case they runoff. Keep a close eye on them and look for signs of anxiety and stress including:
- Panting and drooling
Make sure someone can sit with them and comfort them in low easy tones. Keep them leashed or safe in a kennel.
We at Clarkston Cleaning want to wish all of you and your pets an enjoyable, happy, and safe 4th.