Original article by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience, July, 2011
It’s summertime! Freshly mown lawns, lazy days poolside, ice cream and of course fireworks! I love fireworks! I love lying there on our special fireworks watching blanket with family and friends, waiting in anticipation for the big show; the exhilaration of the first firework shooting out to the body thumping grand finale! And while our family builds a whole day of food, pool, family and friends around the July 4th celebration, we also take some time to make sure our dogs are as comfortable and safe as possible during the fireworks show.
While our pups love to hang out with family and friends, most of our guys are none too happy when they hear the various fireworks set off before, during and after the big fireworks days (July 4th and Memorial Day), and there are a few precautions we take to ease any discomfort our pets may be feeling during a fireworks riddled weekend. We actually have a major fireworks show about 200 yards from our back yard every year put on by the city, and because fireworks are an extremely loud and uncommon sound, they can cause severe stress in some dogs and cats. Many animals become so scared they just start running if they are not safe and secure in their home and are found miles from away from their homes, if they are found at all.
To help ease the stress for your dogs if they are particularly anxious when it comes to the sound of fireworks or even if they are only mildly affected, here are some suggestions that can help ease their discomfort. Try putting your dogs in a room that lies towards the center of the house or down in a basement. Think cool and quiet! Make sure the windows are closed and the air conditioning is on. If you have a plastic crate and your dog is comfortable staying in it, use that crate to create a den for your pup. Dogs love to hide in a den (under the bed for example) when they are frightened of something and the crate gives them a space to feel safe and secure.
Then bring in a radio to play classical music. Have you heard the saying that “music has charms to soothe the savage beast”? (It’s was actually written by William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697 and it was breast instead of beast, but beast works best here!) And it really works! Try it sometime when your pup is bouncing off the walls and you haven’t had time to exercise him. Crank on a little fine dining classical music, sit down and watch the magic! Play it just loud enough to muffle the sounds of fireworks a bit, but not too loud to be annoying.
Now what do you do if you find a dog that has become displaced which quite of few them do every year? Check out these tips at http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-stray.php or visit our Lost and Found Resources page.
Wishing everyone and every doggy a Happy and safe Fourth of July!!
Owner of Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
Education is the first step in pet poison prevention.
Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The Pet Poison Helpline provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:
Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by clicking here
A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.
Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.
Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.
In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.
Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.
If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information. Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.