It’s 4th of July week and that means you will probably have some fireworks going off around you, either in a big display or just some firecrackers being shot off in your neighborhood. You may love to watch fireworks, and who doesn’t, especially at Independence Day? Your dog is who. More dogs are lost around the 4th of the July than any other time of the year. That’s because many of them are left alone at home, get agitated by the noise, and run off. Last year in Durham, NC, a dog that runs the bases at the Durham Bulls games was being put in the car by his owner when the post-game fireworks started. He was spooked and ran off. Fortunately because of the media attention, he was returned to his owner.
It’s the loud, unpredictable sound that frightens them. If you are going to a fireworks show, leave the dog at home. Dogs can’t see the colors like we do and the noise could make them afraid. Even though it’s at night, it’s still usually hot and humid, and there are crowds and strangers and those factors can make even the most docile dog agitated and will make sure you and the people around you won’t enjoy the show.
So what happens if you leave your dog at home, but you know there will be some firecrackers shot off around your house? Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association has some tips for how to keep your dog calm. “You want to keep them inside and as far away from the noise as possible,” says Dr. Beaver. She says some background noise from the TV or radio works. And your vet can prescribe something for it too. Keeping the room dark also helps.
There are some over the counter products that are available to calm your dog also. Dog City Bakery in East Cobb and in Sandy Springs has some products available. Complete Calm is a mixture of herbs in chewable form that can help keep your pet relaxed in any stressful situation, including separation, car rides, trips to the vet or groomer or moving into a new home. You can also get a similar product, Herbsmith Calm Shen at Dog City. It comes in powder or pill form. An alternative to the oral medication is Rescue Remedy for Pets. These are drops that you put in your pet’s water bowl.
If your dog gets scared during thunderstorms, it will likely be scared during fireworks. If you have a Thundershirt for your dog, you may want to put it in it, but not if it will be left unattended. If you typically crate your dog during thunderstorms, crate it during the fireworks.
If you are leaving your pet at home while you and the family attend the fireworks, you may want to have your pet sitter come over and stay with it. The play time and being with a familiar face can help to relieve the stress and distract the dog from the noise.
Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA. You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/