We enjoy seeing fireworks over the summer holidays, but other people don’t find them to be very enjoyable. Veterans or people with post-traumatic stress disorder may find the Fourth of July fireworks to be upsetting.
A survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed that it is also a terrifying experience for dogs and cats, with nearly one in five lost pets going missing after being startled by a loud noise, such as fireworks or thunderstorms.
Here are some tips for protecting your animal pals on this Independence Day.
Why Do Canines Avoid Fireworks?
Dogs have keener senses than humans do. Their sense of smell can be 10,000 times more potent than ours, and they can hear at higher frequencies and up to four times farther away. However, dogs lack the ability to discern the source of sounds, in contrast to humans.
Additionally, we are unable to inform our pets that there will be fireworks. Dogs experience “pure panic” due to increased hearing but a false idea of the source of the noise, according to Massachusetts veterinarian Diana Watkins, owner of 143 Veterinary Services.
“It smells and sounds terrifying to them, almost like it would if we were in a battle and weren’t expecting it,” Watkins said.
The first reaction of dogs is frequently to flee when they hear, see, or smell fireworks.
They frequently have trouble returning home because they have already traveled a considerable distance by the time they have regained their composure.
ASPCA Pet Insurance also covered the news on its official Twitter account:
Planning a fun-filled Fourth of July with your pets? Don’t forget to read our 12 Pet Safety Tips for the Fourth of July to ensure a good time 🎆 https://t.co/cmmnete60H#FourthOfJulyWithPets #PetSafetyTips #CelebrateSafelyWithPets pic.twitter.com/vf1A5aLoJb
— ASPCA Pet Insurance (@ASPCAPetIns) June 30, 2023
Can I Bring My Dog to See the Fireworks?
Despite being by our sides most of the time, Watkins advises against taking your dog to see the fireworks with you.
Dogs who attend fireworks displays will not only be anxious due to the sensory experience but also because they will be away from home at a time when they are feeling anxious.
Additionally, Watkins notes that by removing them from their familiar surroundings, you increase the likelihood that they may run away and become lost.
Even if you keep your dog at home, Watkins advises wearing an ID tag on them at all times or, if your pet isn’t microchipped, buying a GPS locator for their collar.
If at all possible, keep at least one human home with your dog so they may reassure them if they become anxious. Play some soothing music or watch a movie to block out other noises while you stay with your pet in a room with few windows so you can watch the fireworks.
How to Settle a Dog?
One of the greatest methods to calm your dog down, according to Watkins, is to give them strong, solid pats to let them know you’re there for them. Try using anxiety-relieving tools like a Thundershirt, which calms your dog like a weighted blanket.
Also available are collars that contain a canine-pleasing chemical that “reminds them of when they were nursing,” according to Watkins, and soothing pheromone diffusers. It reassures them that they are secure and that they can unwind.
Additionally, your veterinarian may prescribe situational anxiety drugs for dogs who are particularly anxious. This can be useful if you’re left your dog alone for a longer period of time than usual or during loud sensory events like thunderstorms and fireworks.
Watkins cautions against giving your dog anything other than veterinary-grade goods because non-prescription CBD and anti-anxiety medications frequently lack FDA oversight and may be hazardous to your dog.
Are Felines Frightened of Fireworks?
Most people are aware that dogs and pyrotechnics don’t mix, but did you realize that fireworks also make cats frightened?
Compared to dogs, cats are more sensitive to higher-frequency sounds, and they also have trouble identifying the source of the sound. When confronted with unexpectedly loud noises, they also panic.
Because they can also escape, Watkins advises taking (indoor and outdoor cats) into consideration a few days before known fireworks displays. “When they’re really scared, they’ll do anything.”
Watkins advises relaxing and caressing a cat who is acting out by sitting with them in a room without many windows. This will help the cat relax.
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