Five Ways to Keep Fido Calm During Fireworks
We love our pets, and many of us swear they understand what we're saying, thinking and feeling at any given moment. And since they have no concept of time, no matter when we get home our dog is thrilled to see us, consequently, we want to do the best we can for them and take care of their health and safety as much as we can.
In addition to not comprehending the passage of time, another thing they don't understand is our semi-annual celebrations involving fireworks. The big presentations the city puts on, and the smaller ones the neighborhood kids put on for several days.
Unless your dog is a trained hunting dog or cat, the loud and sporadic pops, bangs and whistles modern fireworks can make are terrifying for them in some cases.
At this time of year, I often get email and see people posting on social media asking what can be done to keep the pets calm during the fireworks seasons.
Five Actions You Can Take to Keep Your Pet Calm During Fireworks
1. This goes without saying, but it should be said, no matter how cute your new puppy is, or how stable your old pal seems to be, don't take them to a fireworks show. Too much can happen, from them running off wild and getting lost, to simply trembling in fright trying to dig a hole in the sidewalk to hide under.
2. As much as you can, get your animal some exercise during the day, most of the pops are at dusk and after dark and if you can get in some extra ball-chasing, walking, etc., during the day hopefully he'll just sleep through it all each night. A little more exercise probably wouldn't hurt you either if I may say so.
3. If your animal is crate trained, make it extra comfy with more blankets/pillows or padding and cover it up so it's dark inside. If not a crateable animal, fix up a safe spot in the bathroom or another small place with padding, and the ability to make it dark. Placing his favorite toys or additional treats are good too. Avoid bright lights or the potential for startling surprises. If your pet is in the bathroom, notify guests. If you have more than one bathroom, the doggie-quiet area should just be avoided.
4. Make sure your pet has his collar on with ID tags and what not. If the worse should happen and your canine Houdini should somehow get loose, his tags will allow the finder to bring him back. Take a photo in case you need to post his picture as a lost dog.
5. Finally, when your animal is all tucked away and tired out from the extra exercise, put on a little music to offset the pops and crackles. If he's asleep in the bathroom and listening to, oh.. say Classic Rock 92.1 KTSR at a nominal volume it's beneficial in that the music 'covers' the noise of the fireworks and studies show most dogs like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. Yes, I made up the music study references, but the point is some kind of music, or television 'white noise' will help him rest better.
If you have an especially nervous dog, you may even ask your vet for a sedative.
Good luck with your pet, most of this is common sense, I understand the quiet comfortable place with music playing also works for horses and dairy cows, just take a radio out to the stall, plug it in and go.
Happy Independence Day!