Monday, June 30, 2014

Your Dogs And Fireworks

What can you do to help prevent your dog from running away from fireworks.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and if you haven't noticed, more and more warnings are going up about how this is the scariest holiday of the year for dogs and that more dogs are lost on this holiday than any other day.

The Humane Society says that July fifth is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters.

PET MD suggests keeping your pets indoors until the fifth. Don't take your dog to a fireworks display. Keep identifying tags on your pet and have them microchipped (Tags and collars can get ripped off). Don't use fireworks around your pets.

If you think about it, the sky is exploding and flashing for no reason.  And when an animal isn't desensitized enough to oddball events around him/her, it can be a devastating emotional experience.  And unlike humans who can reason through something that startles them, sometimes animals just RUN!  Their fight or flight mode kicks in and doesn't shut off until they feel safe or run out of energy.

And that flight mode is pure adrenaline, with no logic attached. They don't run for cover all the time.  They don't get to a safe spot... they just run, run and run some more.  They run with no intelligence or logic attached.  During earthquakes dogs bolt from their homes and run like mad. Then they get lost or killed when they get hit on the highways.

If you think your fence will keep them in the back yard, you will probably be statistically correct.  Yet if your dog has never attempted to leap over your six-foot tall fence, most mid-sized to large dogs just might amaze you what they can truly be physically capable of.

Don't take the chance.

HAVE YOU MICRO CHIPPED YOUR DOG? Or put tags with names and numbers on them. It's simple enough to do. I can't tell you how often I've caught stray dogs and they have had no identifying gear or chip on them.

Though it seemed off-subject, it has also been suggested to avoid giving your pup special scraps from the BBQ. A new food can cause stomach upset, and that would be one more factor in the equation of your dog having a bad night.

You can think you can predict your animal, but to be honest, you can only guess and be statistically close to correct most of the time. Somewhat like those boneheads who walk their dogs without leashes, because they haven't run off.  Yet.


Other suggestions were to act natural and normal during the time when fireworks are going off. Don't coddle them.  Turn up the radio or TV to drown or absorb the sound of the booms.

The worse case scenario, when other tricks aren't working is to simply allow your dog to hide and don't force the issue.

For even more ideas and information on this and other related subjects, check out my favorite animal trainer's piece on Fourth of July Fireworks Safety.






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