(Image via Wikipedia Commons)
The Fourth of July is both a good and bad day. For many, it's the celebration of what this country is about. But for pet owners, it's also a day that can go down in infamy because of the loud booms that come from fireworks. Too many times have I heard about dogs breaking out of their yards or bolting out from under "voice control" when they're frightened by fireworks. This upcoming holiday is as much about the celebration as it is about the safety of your pet.
Too many times I have helped someone identify their animal from remains I've found in the road after a night of thoughtless, neighborhood revelry.
The 4th of July is a scary day for your pets, but you MUST also consider that days leading up to the fourth as also potential danger days. Where I live, people are already firing off big fire works, and it is not appreciated. A few years ago, a very responsible friend of mine was preparing his yard and house for the weekend when three days before the 4th, his neighbor lit up some fireworks and my friend lost his dog to the fright that kicks in, to a tragic ending.
When a dog becomes afraid, they don't have the logic humans... some humans have. They just run until they drop from exhaustion. They don't look left or right, they don't care about the noise in their path, they just run. My friend found his dog after she was struck down by traffic on a nearby freeway.
I know dog reactions can vary, from 'who cares' to 'it's the end of the world' reactions. And if you don't think your dog can't scale your eight-foot high fence when they are fully frightened, think again.
If you know your dog's potential, by all means, take the little extra work to protect your family member from this horror that comes from the sky.
And there are some things you can do to help prevent run away dogs or to increase the chances of reclaiming your pup if they do get out.
-Consider getting your dog a microchip. If they are microchipped, make sure the information is updated with your microchip company.
-Make sure you dogs have their ID tags on and are properly fitted.
-Take extra long walks or play sessions to help burn off some excess energies.
-Keep your dogs indoors if you can until at least a day or two after this holiday.
-Consider keeping doors and windows shut at night. Draw the curtains to minimize the light flashing, if anything goes off near you.
-Give your pups a safe room to hang out in if they need it. Find the quietest room you can for them, or at least make it available to them.
-Don't play with fireworks around your dogs, and don't try taking them to fireworks shows if you think this 'home remedy' would be good for them. It won't be.
-If you're extra caring, possibly play with them with their favorite toys during times that the booms will be going off. Play something loud over your stereo or TV to drown out the noise.
The best thing you can do is be vigilant and not assume your dog won't try to bolt. Take the extra precautions. Don't think you're immune to the horrors of finding out what happens after your dog escapes. I know too many people who thought the same thing, and ended up losing a valued family member.