The Fourth of July is coming and most dog custodians know that with July 4th, some dogs can get pretty frightened or skiddish from the loud bangs going off in the sky all around them.
To dogs, fireworks are unnatural, shocking, and downright scary. Like the sky itself is barking at them and ripping apart. And that ain't right!
The sad and scary part of this entire process is that it's not just the fourth of July you have to worry about, but the week leading up to and possibly a few nights after the holiday.
That's because sometimes people feel the need to 'practice' with their big loud bang-makers before the big night. And for me, that's when I think some dog owners can be at the most risk, those days leading up to the fourth and not expecting it. A peer of mine in the disc dog world lost his dog to testing that took place a few nights prior to the 4th. And if a well trained disc dog can be impacted by this stuff, you do the math.
When fireworks and the like go off animals can react in different ways. Some don't care one bit. (If you're lucky.) Others will freak a bit, looking around, wondering what the hell is that!? Others will bolt for parts unknown in the house, hide under things or what not. They'll shake and shiver, possibly thinking the world is ending.
We know the world isn't ending. They don't.
But then there are those dogs that are kept outside in the back yard.
To be honest, if you can, bring your dogs inside with you for the few days before and after the 4th. If you've never seen a dog scale a six to eight-foot tall fence, it's truly something to behold, and shocking that even your dog can do such a thing. But they can. I once watched a one-year-old teen cat climb a fourteen-foot wall in a rapid ascent to catch a bird for dinner. And I've seen dogs hit pretty high walls and scale them with no issue.
AND DON'T FORGET, when an animal gets truly frightened, they aren't humans with higher reasoning. (Yes, I'm giving everyone a lot of credit here) But rather, when scared, they go into "fight or flight" mode.
When they get scared, their body produces hormones and ramp up their neurotransmitters in an effort to give the dog a boost of energy to get out of trouble. And they run. They run without thinking. And they run until exhausted sometimes. This kind of running takes them into streets, in front of cars, across freeways and what not.
I know. I've seen how many dogs bolted for their lives from their homes during the Northridge Earthquake and how many dog bodies were left all over the streets after the quake because in their panic, they did not look or use any common sense that they might normally have. They just ran to get away from "it."
So if you care about your dog and have outside dogs, put them inside. At least for these few days.
- Don't take them to firework shows.
- It is safer to keep them indoors.
- It is safer to not take them with you to outdoor parties.
- Put your crate trained pups in their crates, covered.
- Close blinds to block the visuals of the flashing bombs.
- Turn on the TV or play some kind of music to help drown out the quieter booms.
- If you're home, spend some quality time hanging out with your pet, assure them. Stay with them and keep them company, or feeling safe.
- OH, and MICROCHIP them! Collars and tags can get torn off in flight.
In case you don't think your pup can jump things, well,think again. They are strong and fast and when pushed by their fear, anything is possible. Check these quickie vids out, and DON'T BE FOOLED by any notion that it can't happen to you. Wouldn't you rather take the safer route and follow a few simple precautions for a few nights instead of being that panicked dog parent, freaking out about if their pup is OK after jumping the fence?: