Fireworks and dogs do not mix well

Published 6:15 pm Friday, June 19, 2015

As the Fourth of July draws near, we begin to hear sounds of fireworks. Neighborhood youngsters, and maybe a few oldsters, try their hands at setting off firecrackers and other incendiary objects.

Then, on the actual Independence Day, there are big fireworks shows in our communities.

We all love fireworks, but the local Humane Society reminds us that most dogs fear the noise and confusion brought on by fireworks and some of the fears end with disastrous results.

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Some animals are so distressed by the noise that they run away and are possibly lost. The number of missing pets skyrockets from July 4-6, with only 14 percent of lost pets being reunited with their owners.

Last year in Decatur County a dog frightened by fireworks ran off and was killed while crossing a busy highway.
Some signs displayed by a dog that is anxious and fearful are: pacing, destructive behavior, urinating or defecating in the house, howling, running off and hiding, whining, salivating, rapid breathing, trembling and shaking.

Some tips to help your dogs survive the celebration are:

  • Give the dog exercise early in the day to help relieve some of the nervous energy.
  • Do NOT take dogs to fireworks displays.
  • If yours is an outside dog, be aware that some pranksters might try setting off fireworks close to your dog to see the reaction.
  • Bring outdoor dogs inside to reduce their breaking loose, digging out or jumping fences to run away in fear.
  • Turn on the TV or radio to help muffle the booms going on outside. Close windows and doors to muffle the sounds.
  • If your dog hides in the house, behind a chair, under a bed or in the bathroom, let them be. You might try pacifying them by covering with a blanket and giving treats.
  • Remain calm yourself.
  • Make sure the dog has identification tags on their collars
  • If you plan to be away from home, be sure the pet is secured where it cannot escape and is not able to harm itself.

Just remember fireworks and dogs do not mix.

The local Humane Society will be closed Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5.