July 4th (Independence Day) is a big holiday for humans in the United States. They get together and they have picnics, which means the Dads cook on the grill and everyone eats outside. Then, when it gets dark, they like to have fireworks.
Fireworks are an important part of the Independence Day celebration. Even the old guys who signed the Declaration of Independence said the day should be celebrated with bells and bonfires and the Congress of Philadelphia said there should be 13 fireworks to represent the 13 colonies/states.
Fireworks are big explosions of color in the sky which I might like if it weren’t for the noise. Fireworks are very, very loud. Human have little ears that are close to their heads. Dogs have big ears so we hear things ten times louder than you do. That would make fireworks very, very loud times ten.
I read a lot and so I know all about 4th of July and fireworks but most dogs don’t so imagine, hanging out at home, catching a little nap after a nice day of begging for treats at the picnic and all of a sudden, the world explodes! Whoa! Next thing you know, Spot and Fluffy are 20 miles from home and still running.
Here are some things humans can do to help pet not be scared when there are fireworks.
1. First thing is to know when there are going to be fireworks. Lots of towns have big fireworks shows where everyone goes to the park and watches. LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME! Check for fireworks in all towns near you because, remember, dogs can hear things happening much farther away than you can.
2. Make sure your pet has their tags on and that their microchips are up to date. That way, if they do run away, it will be easier for them to find someone to help them get back home.
3. Being in the house will make your pet feel safer.
You can make it even better by keeping the lights on (not only humans are afraid of the dark). Closing curtains helps with the sound and with the flashing lights. When I’m scared I go in my crate and close my eyes. DixieLee’s crate is a wire one so Mom puts a blanket over the top and two sides. She keeps the front open so DixieLee can get air.
If your pet doesn’t have a crate, keep them in one room. If they get really scared, they will want to run and could hurt themselves running and jumping from room to room trying to get away from the noise.
Make sure they have water. Drinking water can help keep calm.
Turn on some soothing music or the tv. Having a little noise will make the house more “normal”.
4. If you are home with your pet, don’t get crazy yourself. If we want to cuddle, hey, cuddling is good, but if we don’t, please don’t force. Remember we are scared and scared pets will scratch and bite even if we don’t mean to.
If you set up a nice room for us but we prefer being under the bed, let us stay under the bed. We know what makes us feel safe even if we can’t tell you.
5. If you know your pet is really scared of fireworks, talk to his/her vet. They may be able to give them something to help keep them calm. I prefer something herbal but that’s up to you. My friends tell me Thunder Shirts work too.
6.If you had fireworks at your house, check the yard the next day. The firework’s casing and sparkler sticks don’t make the best toys.
Knowing your pet is safe will make celebrating Independence Day much more fun for you.
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