July 1, 2011
We here at DogWatch know that your dog is an important part of your life. You want to share as many special moments with him as you can, so it only makes sense that you’d want him with you for the 4th of July fireworks. Your dog, on the other hand, may very well prefer to be anywhere else. In fact, more than 20% of dogs have severe adverse reactions to fireworks. Dogs have been known to injure themselves and others due to anxiety and stress from the fireworks, run away from home to escape them, and in some sad cases, get hit by cars while escaping or wind up in the animal shelter because they couldn’t find their way back. Here’s what can contribute to a dog’s anxious reaction to fireworks and why keeping Fido away from the flash and bang might be in his best interest:
Hearing: A dog’s hearing is ten times more sensitive than a human’s. If the fireworks sound that loud to you, imagine what they must sound like to your dog! Also, the sudden silence after all the booming and banging is over can be quite jarring to a dog.
Flashing lights: More skittish dogs may not be able to handle the random, flashing light of the fireworks well. It may leave them confused and disoriented, or conversely, make them agitated.
Lots of people: If you’re taking your dog to a large park or festival where there will be a great deal of people, your dog might get overwhelmed if he’s not used to being around that many strangers. Many experts recommend not bringing your dogs to public venues for fireworks, as the potential for harm to your dog or others is too high.
Your reactions: A dog might interpret your “ooh” and “aah” as pain or fear and become agitated because he wants to protect you.
General Anxiety: If your dog is skittish and anxious to begin with, fireworks will more than likely send him into panic mode. It’s important to know your dog’s temperament before even considering exposing him to fireworks.
To learn more about how to prepare your dog for fireworks, and to help alleviate fear and anxiety during and after them, check out our 4th of July blog from last year.
From all of us at DogWatch Hidden Fences to all of you, have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Image by Amani Hasan via Flickr