Some Quick 4th of July Dog Safety Tips
The 4th of July is probably the biggest day of the year for doggie escapes. Panicky dogs can and will do anything they can to try to get away from what is terrifying them, in this case, the noise of fireworks. Shelters across the country are gearing up to receive the usual number of “fireworks dogs” who escape their homes/yards after becoming frightened of Fourth of July fireworks displays.
Here are some quick tips to keep your dog safe on the 4th of July:
Do not leave your dog home alone. A panic-stricken dog can do unthinkable things in an effort to escape the sounds of fireworks. Dogs have chewed through walls, jumped through panes of glass, etc. If you’re not going to be home, board your dog in a safe boarding facility where you know he will be safe and well-cared for during his stay.
Do not unintentionally reinforce fearful behavior by trying to comfort your dog when he is fearful. It is best to provide a safe place such as a closet (without windows) and a radio with its volume turned high. If the dog seeks refuge in his crate, allow him to do so, but do not place it in room with windows. If there are windows nearby, keep the lights on in the room. Likewise, even if the closet is dark, leave the lights on in the outer rooms. This will lessen the contrast between the dark sky and the periodic flashes of light produced by the fireworks displays.
Medication can be administered. Ask your veterinarian about medication, but be aware some medication may immobilize your dog while leaving his mind fully intact, thus creating a terrified, but immobilized dog. In addition, do not leave a medicated dog alone in case an unexpected reaction occurs. Do not trust that the medication is the cure all for the problem.
For outside dogs. If you have a dog that usually stays outside, bring him inside and stay with him using the above suggestions. Many terrified dogs slip collars, break chains and jump high fences in an attempt to survive the explosions. They are in panic mode and bolt without a thought. Unfortunately, many of these dogs become injured or more tragically, die. (Note – dogs should be part of the family, if you’re going to have a dog and just leave it outside in a yard all the time or tethered to a chain, why bother to even have a dog??)
To You and Your Family, Furry and All, I Wish you a Wonderful, Safe and Happy 4th of July Holiday weekend!!
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