If you have pets, and a dog in particular, you know that the Fourth of July with its fireworks can be stressful. From shaking to howling and hiding, the days around the Fourth of July are also the busiest season for shelters, because due to the loud noises, many dogs run and hide upon the start of the fireworks. For extreme cases, there are drugs in place, and new drugs in the works that might take the edge off, but silent fireworks are also in consideration for many communities.
According to the Inquisitr, most of us would do anything to keep our dogs calm and happy, and that includes one of the most famous dog owners in the world, Queen Elizabeth. Known mostly for her herd of Corgis, or Corgyn, which is the proper term, each Corgi has its own butler, porcelain bowl, and medical regimen, which includes herbs and homeopathy, so it is certain that in situations that involve fireworks, the palace Corgis are well cared-for, and the Bach’s Rescue Remedy is at the ready.
The Press Enterprise offers tips for keeping dogs calm during fireworks displays, on the Fourth of July and other holidays. Many people have the idea that it will be fun to bring their furry friend to watch fireworks for the Fourth of July, but this rarely works out. While people enjoy the cracks, whistles and bursts that accompany fireworks, they are too busy watching to realize that their four legged friend is having a top level freak-out.
Many dogs are also sensitive to thunderstorms, and it’s why the summer months present with an overflow at animal shelters, according to Steve Fries, who manages an animal shelter in the Moreno Valley.
“The noise, it scares them and they get frightened, then they run because they’re scared, they get disoriented … and end up wandering into someone else’s yard.”
John Welsh of Riverside County Animal Services agrees and says that in a panic, many dogs howl, but some start digging to escape a fence or an enclosure. So what can be done to protect pets from what is essentially a panic attack? Both Welsh and Fries suggest finding a place indoors that is cool and secure is the best way to go.
“Just add a layer of calm for the animal.”
In case of an escape, it is critical that all pets are microchipped, so that if they turn up in a shelter, they can be identified, and won’t be destroyed. Dogs provide comfort for their people, and during the summer months, or in anticipation of a fireworks display, our four legged friends just need some additional comfort from us.
“It’s a stressful time for these guys and so responsible pet owners need to consider their dogs’ comfort and safety.”
The San Francisco CBS Local shared information about a new drug that might be helpful for dogs during fireworks displays. The upside of the new drug, Sileo, is that it is not a tranquilizer, but instead a drug that inhibits that release of adrenaline. CBS gave the example of Zoe, a fun-loving dog who enjoys that outdoors, and is always ready for a good time, except when it comes to fireworks and thunderstorms, according to her owner, Arlene Lenok.
“Her tail immediately zooms between her legs. Her body starts shaking. She starts to pace. Then she pants where the tongue is out.”
Zoe suffers from what is known as noise aversion, and during this time of year, with thunderstorms and fireworks, the drug Sileo, recently approved by the FDA, might be helpful. Dr, Gary Yarnell, a veterinarian in Rye, New York says that Sileo can provide a calming effect without sedation.
“It’s not a tranquilizer, per se. It works on the nervous system to inhibit the release of adrenaline or nor-epinephrine.”
Dr. Yarnell says that though the drug is incredibly effective, there are a few simple things that can be done first when a storm is coming, or fireworks are anticipated.
“One thing I would recommend, if you dog has a serious noise aversion tendencies is probably to stay with the animal. Do not leave them at home alone.”
Fireworks are one of the biggest triggers for dogs with noise aversion issues, so being sensitive to your dog’s anxieties is critical.
What preventative measures do you take for your dog during fireworks displays on the Fourth of July?
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]