Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fireworks & Dogs - Keep Your Pups Safe

          If you live in the United States it is that time or year again, the one holiday many dogs hate the most but us Americans love......the 4th of July. If you have had dogs before you're most likely an old hand at this, for those of you new to dogs or just need a refresher here are some safety tips for you.

          During the fireworks season many dogs go missing, this is due in part to the loud scary noises that send dogs into a panic. If your dog is afraid of the thunder they are probably frighten of the noise fireworks makes. I always highly recommend dog owners microchip their pets but especially if they are easily frightened by loud noises or other things. All animals have a fight or flight reflex, and a dog frightened by loud noise will either hide or run off. Around the time of 4th of July there is a big spike in the numbers of dogs that go missing, having you pet microchipped gives you a better chance of having them returned to you.

          On the 4th is the peak time for fireworks, so what I do is I make sure that throughout the whole day when ever my dogs need to go outside that I am constantly with them. This is to not only keep an eye on them but also to monitor the yard for any stray fireworks or burning ash that may have landed in the yard. Don't let your dog eat or step on any spent fireworks, you don't want them to get burned or sick. Be weary of "duds" as they can still go off.

          Once your dog is safely inside and awaiting the fireworks volley to begin you will want to confine them in an interior room in the house, preferably a room that is the most insulated from outside noises. Then what I like to do is to turn on the TV and turn up the volume. But don't turn the sound up to loud, I would suggest to just turn it up slightly louder then what you would normally have it at to watch a movie. Play something either you know your dog would like or anything that doesn't have loud or sudden scary noises. The PBS station is usually a good channel to stay tuned to. If you don't have a TV in that room a radio tuned to a talk show will also work. Some people turn on music but I am not fond of that idea. I have heard there are studies about which music dogs like and it turns out that the kinds of music that dogs or humans like correspond to their heartbeat rhythm. Dogs and humans hearts beat at different rates, so music on the radio are geared towards humans not dogs.

          Most fireworks are set off at night which means you will want to make sure you get your dog outside to do his business before it gets dusk. It may very depending on where you live but there is a time late in the evening when your neighbors either run out of fireworks or are to tired to set off anymore for the evening. This is usually a good time to take your dog back outside for one more time before bed. Get a flash light and inspect your yard, make sure it is safe for your dog. I recommend taking them outside on leash, being tethered to you will provide them with some confidence and will keep them from running if anymore fireworks happens to be set off.

          Remember to repetitively inspect your dog's yard all throughout the fireworks season, it is better to be safe then sorry. Do you have any fireworks safety tips, I would love to hear about them.

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