Happy 4th of July! To my readers in the US, I hope you get a day off and are able to enjoy it 🙂 Today’s post is mainly about helping pets who are afraid of fireworks.
Brief Life Update
You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since my last post. For the first time this year, this isn’t because I’ve been too tired or too busy…I just haven’t felt as if there was anything I particularly had to share and I promised myself and you that I wouldn’t clutter up your inbox unless I had something to say. Because I didn’t have anything to say, there were no posts. Any post would have been purely just to have another post out there, not because I had something valuable to share with you.
The past few weeks have been busy and an opportunity for me to practice everything I’ve worked to learn over the past many years in order to keep our lives running as smoothly as possible. We were lucky enough to have renters move into our old house, so that’s covered now, though there is still some work left to do at the old house that we started before my pregnancy and need to finish. However, it was confirmed that Way Pup tore his other ACL (yep, he tore the first ACL last year) and had surgery two weeks ago. Recovery is going really well thankfully! Now, he has 2 matching metal plates and severe arthritis on his rear knees. Thankfully, dogs only have 2 ACLs and the surgery to fix it replaces his ACLs with metal plates instead of repairing the ACLs (unlike in humans), so he can’t tear either ACL anymore. Taking care of Way Pup has replaced the time we spent at the old house.
Our Fur Friends Don’t Like Fireworks
Speaking of Way Pup and the 4th of July, today is a big day for fireworks all across the county (though chances are, fireworks have been going off for about a week now). I admitted last year that I don’t like fireworks. They’re just not my thing. Thankfully, Way Pup couldn’t care less about fireworks. He simply doesn’t register that they’re happening (see image below).
However, there are lots and lots of pets and animals out there who become absolutely terrified of fireworks. You know who else can get freaked out by fireworks? People suffering from PTSD, such as veterans or anyone who has lived amongst or dealt with gun violence. As a pet owner/mom and someone connected very closely with the military, this matters a lot to me. There’s no way to get rid of all the fireworks shows out there (not practical), but there are definitely ways to help our friends. While I would love to post about how to help people who don’t like fireworks, that topic isn’t as familiar to me as helping animals who don’t like fireworks.
Helping All Pets Who Don’t Like Fireworks (Even if You Don’t Have a Pet)
First off, here’s a tip for everyone: DRIVE CAREFULLY. Even if you don’t have a pet, know that a lot of pets will run away from home tonight. These are probably pets who are used to being on a leash with their owner and not used to being out alone at night with loud noises all around. So, please, please, please be careful when you’re driving so that you don’t accidentally hit a dog or cat.
Helping Your Pet Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks
If you do have a pet, here are a few things to keep in mind to help your pet when there are fireworks:
- If you do nothing else, put your pet inside! If your pet is outside, there is a chance that he or she could get out and run away. A few years ago, some family friends put their dog outside during a fireworks show and she freaked out. The dog got out from her yard and ended up getting run over in the street. Yes, this is sad. Yes, this happens.
- If you have to let your pet outside, keep him or her on a leash. See sad story above. It doesn’t matter if your pet doesn’t care about fireworks. Way Pup will still be on a leash when I take him outside to do his business because I can’t risk anything happening to him. He’ll also be on his leash well before and well after the fireworks have ended just in case somebody decides to set off fireworks early or late. That way, we won’t be caught off guard.
- If your dog freaks out both inside and outside, give your pet a safe place to get away. One option is to crate your pup or cat and cover the crate with blankets to make a secure cave. Or let your dog or cat hide under the bed during the fireworks displays. Thundershirts are also a popular option for dogs. We used one for a previous dog who didn’t like fireworks or thunderstorms, and it helped her quite a bit.
- Turn on some white noise, the TV, or music to help cover up the sounds of fireworks. Even if you usually don’t leave noise on while you’re gone, consider doing it while there are fireworks going off. Your pet will probably appreciate it.
- If you know your pup or cat will be terrified no matter way, talk to your vet. Today may be a lost cause, in which case, good luck! But if you have some time, talk to your vet about medication. You might not want to give your pet additional drugs, but that might be better than letting your pet become wild with fear.
- Consider staying home or getting home before the fireworks shows start so you can help comfort a scared pet. Your pet knows and trusts you, and would probably prefer that you be home with them. That way, you can snuggle with them and let them know that everything will be alright soon.
- Make sure your pet is microchipped! You should do this regardless of fireworks season, but in the event that your pet gets away, a microchip can make all the difference in making sure your pet comes home. So many dogs and cats run away on the 4th and many of them end up in shelters. Making sure that your pet is microchipped can mean the difference between you spending hours calling and visiting shelters, and the shelter calling you right away to let you know where your pet is. If you haven’t microchipped your pet, do it as soon as possible. If you have microchipped your pet, good for you! Now, make sure the information is up to date. I made sure to update Way Pup’s information within a couple of weeks of our moving to the new house.
Short Bit of Advice for Talking to Someone Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks.
If you know someone who doesn’t like fireworks, don’t make a big deal about it. If you happen to love fireworks, don’t make someone else feel guilty for not liking fireworks. There’s a good chance that they really like something that you don’t, and hopefully they wouldn’t try to make you feel bad for not liking their thing. So, if you’re with someone who doesn’t like fireworks, there’s not need to make a big deal out of it. Instead, you can ask what they do like about the 4th of July or simply say, “Yeah, fireworks aren’t for everyone.” then change topics.
With that, I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy celebrating!
One thought on “Help Your Fur Friend Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks”
Thoughtful…thanks. I did hear about someone whose dog becomes upset by loud noises and storms and takes “shelter” in her closet where it is dark and full of the mistress’ smells. Yes, (I asked), it is an interior closet. Pretty good solution for this pup.
Thanks also for addressing those Debbie Downers who find fireworks unnecessarily noisy and potentially dangerous for sensitive animals as well as air pollution. About the noise, ear plugs can help a bit. Debbie Downers Unite!