6.23.2010

Dogs and Fireworks

I once read that statistically, more dogs are lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. There are a few reasons for this:
-Lots of loud noises: Dogs, though they don't generalize commands very well, they DO generalize fears really well. So dogs who are afraid of thunder and vacuums will likely also be afraid of fireworks.
-Lots of people: If you have a lot of people coming and going from your house, it's easier for Spot to slip out the front door - especially if your dog is fearful and wants nothing more than to run away from those frightening loud noises.


There is a great article from Lisa Spector, courtesy of Dog Star Daily. Some of her tips include more exercise on the morning of the fireworks, and give your dog a safe place to hide. Click Here for the article.

I would also include
-Don't take your dog to the parades/fireworks show
-Do make up posters ahead of time with your dogs photo, description, Important information (needs meds/seizure dog/has a hard time with men in hats). This should be done no matter what time of year as your best chances of getting your dog back decreases with time.
-Maybe take your dog to a friends house who lives in the middle of nowhere. There were no fireworks where I grew up, so firework phobia is a new thing to us now that we live in the city.
-If you must be outside, use a leash, no matter how good your dogs recall is. Also, use a harness or make sure the collar is tight enough that it doesn't slip off your dogs head. A dog with the best recall will still fight or flight in the presence of the right stimulus, and if your dog is especially phobic, a loud, unexpected CRACK or BOOM can send your dog running with it's tail between it's legs.

Be safe this season, and most importantly, sneak Spot a piece of hot dog. He deserves it.