Fireworks and Fido: Not always a good combination

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, you need to be mindful of how your dog reacts to fireworks and loud noises and take this into consideration when planning Independence Day activities.

For some dogs, fireworks are a non-issue. Hunting dogs and others that are used to loud noises, the thunderous booms that accompany the flash and sparkle of pyrotechnics, can be just another night.

However, for others, the stress experienced by dogs during fireworks often triggers the fight-or-flight response. The loud noises usually make the dog want to leave the situation – animal-control services see a 30-percent increase in lost pets during the time aournd the 4th of July holiday. Although you need to take the appropriate steps to keep your pet safe and secure, so that you don't risk losing your pet as many may run away, the stress also increases the possibility of behavior issues, such a biting, even in a dog that has never shown aggression. 

To keep your dog protected, make sure you provide a safe place for it during the holiday season – their crate is an excellent spot that is very secure both physically and psychologically. Always leash your dog before going outside to reduce the chance of losing them should they bolt because of fireworks. Also, try to find them as quiet of a place as possible to spend time – your basement or any interior room that is insulated from the noise outside are good choices during the evening. 

If your dog does struggle with fireworks, understand that adding lots of people to the situation may increase their anxiety. If you are entertaining a large number of people, consider kenneling your dog during the party. Make sure that guests keep any gates and doors to the outside closed. But even if you only have a few people over, make sure they understand that your dog may not be himself during this time and to not crowd him (again, removing him from the situation is probably a good idea).

Taking a few precautionary steps and planning for the upcoming festivities can help both of you have a great and relaxing Fourth of July celebration.

From all of us here at Canine HealthCheck, we hope that you have a wonderful holiday. 

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