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The Fourth of July…Independence Day…the quintessential American holiday. Family, food, fun, and fireworks. As we celebrate the birth of our great nation, let’s not forget to look out for the members of our family who are possibly more dependent on us than any others…our pets.
The fireworks we use to celebrate the 4th can cause a great deal of stress for many animals. Dogs possess hearing that is many times greater than humans. And, the loud sounds coupled with the unusual flashes of light, can be difficult for them to understand.
What can you do as a responsible pet owner? First of all, keep your dog in the house. Don't even think about taking them with you to a public fireworks display. If they are accustomed to being in a crate, that is the best place they can be! In any case, they need to be in a room where they can't do any damage to themselves or to your home. Turn on music or a television with the volume turned up loud to make it less likely that they can hear the fireworks outside. Close all the curtains and blinds and turn on lots of lights because the flash of fireworks can be as frightening as the loud noises.
If you're staying home with your dog there are some things you can do before the celebration starts. Make sure they have collars and id tags. Some dogs have become so frightened that they manage to chew through crates, doors or jump through windows. Take your dog outside to do his business before dark when most people start setting off fireworks. Exercise and food beforehand may make them sleepier than usual. A well-fed, tired dog is less likely to become anxious. You could also ask your vet for some anti-anxiety medicine if your dog has exhibited problems in the past.
After the fireworks start, you can try distracting your dog with a new or special toy or by playing an indoor game. You can try giving him a kong filled with treats to chew on. If you appear relaxed and uninterested in what is going on outside, this will help your dog to be less anxious. Don't ever punish your dog for anxious behavior.
As the flags are flying and the fireworks are popping, let's do all we can to keep our buddies safe and happy!
Hi, I'm Sherrie Sadler, owner and operator of On Their Own Turf Pet Care in Murfreesboro, TN. I have owned many pets over the years and love animals of all kinds. So, I decided to "do what I love" by opening a professional pet sitting business in 2012. I offer love and care to your beloved pets right "on their own turf" where they are most comfortable. Call us at 615-900-0845 or email.