From all of us here at the CANIDAE RPO blog, we wish you and your pets a safe and happy Fourth of July! Independence Day is a fun holiday for people, but fireworks can be very frightening for our pets. Please remember to keep them indoors during the festivities.
Although fireworks are festive, exciting and beautiful to us, to a dog they can be frightening and very painful.
Some dogs have no problems dealing with the noise, but other dogs do not handle the situation as well. Your dog can become destructive, loud or act very frightened when the fireworks begin.
A dog’s ears are much more sensitive than those of their human companions. Fireworks are loud even to people. To a dog the noise level is more elevated and intense. If you have ever seen a human child who is frightened of fireworks or any other extreme noise, imagine what a dog must be experiencing when fireworks are exploding nearby.
To help your dog cope with the agitation fireworks can cause for them, try these methods to alleviate the problem and make them more comfortable.
Companionship during stressful times is good for human and dog alike. There is security in having someone close by.
On Independence Day, most people don’t bat an eye when they hear the pop-pop-pop sound of firecrackers going off all day long, or the thunderous boom of fireworks at night. Not me. As a “parent” of three cats who are terrified of those loud noises, I cringe when I see the garishly decorated fireworks stands popping up on every corner.
I dread July 4th and especially nightfall, because I live right across the street from where my town sets off their fireworks display. Those loud booms are unsettling for me; I can only imagine how scary they are for my pets, who have no idea what those noises mean. Are we being invaded? Is the world ending? Where can I hide? At that first boom, my skittish kitties make a beeline for UTB (under the bed) and I usually don’t see them until morning.
It’s made me something of a curmudgeon, hating the Fourth of July when I should be joyously and noisily celebrating freedom and independence like everyone else. Yet, more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year, says the popular adoption site, Petfinder. Emergency pet hospitals also see an upswing of visits.
So while it’s nice to enjoy the backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and fireworks that have become an American tradition on the Fourth, responsible pet owners also need to take precautions to keep their four-legged family members safe (and as stress-free as possible).
Don’t take Fido to the fireworks display. This noisy, crowded scene can create anxiety and aggression in even the calmest of canines.
If you plan to set off personal fireworks, be sure to keep your dog in a safe location away from the display. Too many dogs have already been burned and otherwise injured by fireworks; it’s just not worth the risk.
What could be more natural than pairing dogs with a day dedicated to independence, patriotism and love of our country? After all, our furry friends are the epitome of freedom, loyalty and love. At least that’s how my mind works, and so my patriotic canine crafting theme for the Fourth of July was born. These easy crafts range from dog-themed to actually for the dogs, with a little in between.
Uncle Sam Dog Hat
This was my favorite project, because it produced such adorable pictures and inspired the final craft. I started with one of those dollar store cloth hats, but you could easily make one from construction paper. Just be sure to have a camera and dog treats handy – I used CANIDAE Chicken and Rice TidNips™ to reward Wuppy for sitting pretty.
Supplies: Uncle Sam hat, white snow batting or cotton balls, glue gun, glue sticks, and 1 ½ foot of string or elastic.
1. Pull off enough batting to make two sections of pouf white “hair” to hang around your dog’s ears.
2. With the glue gun, glue each section to the inside brim of your hat, so it hangs down like hair, one section on the left and one on the right. Allow glue time to dry.
3. Pull off another section of batting, enough to make a goatee. Hot glue the goatee to the center of your string or elastic. Let the glue dry, then tie the goatee on your dog’s head.
4. OPTIONAL: You can also glue the string or elastic to the hat, like a chin strap, if you want your pet to wear the hat for more time than just picture taking. Loop it around from your dog’s head to chin, to measure the right length.
Firecracker Dog Treat Favors
Since I was handing out treats to get Dusty and Wuppy to pose for pictures, I decided they needed their own rocket favor containers. They were entirely too willing to pose with this craft!
Supplies: toilet paper or paper towel roll, small section each of red and blue poster board or scrapbook paper, white printer paper, scissors, tape, glue gun, 3 inches of string, and markers or paint.
1. Wrap the white paper around your toilet paper roll and tape it where the paper meets. Trim the excess paper off the top of the tube with scissors.
2. Decorate covered roll with markers or paint and write your dog’s name on it.
3. Take one of your poster boards or scrapbook paper and cut a half circle that is 3 ⅓ inches on the flat side. This is going to be the firecracker’s pointed cap.
4. Fold the half circle perfectly in half, tip-to-tip. Tape it where the flat bottom now meets in two sections.
5. Put a bead of glue along the top edge of your toilet paper roll and set the newly made point cap on top, with the point facing up.
6. For the feet: Cut out three or four identical feet from your poster board or scrapbook paper, for your firecracker or rocket to stand on. These should be an inch across at the top and taper where they will stand at the bottom.
7. Tape the string to the inside top corner of one of the legs, if you want a firecracker. You can skip this step if you want a rocket.
8. Cut 3 or 4 slits (depending on how many legs you made) evenly up the bottom of your tube.
9. Insert legs, with the narrowest point facing down.
The 4th of July is such a fun holiday for humans, but it’s one of the most stressful days of the year for our dogs and cats. The loud noises and flashes of light from fireworks can be really frightening for them. According to Petfinder, more pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.
Here are just a few tips to help keep your pet safe as you and your family celebrate the holiday.
* Don’t take your dog to the fireworks display. They’re noisy, crowded and can create anxiety and aggression in even the most normally easygoing canine.
* Keep pets on their normal diet to avoid any stomach upsets. I know it’s hard to resist the adorable begging face of a dog drooling over your barbecue fare, but do it for their sake. If you want to give them a treat, some CANIDAE TidNips are a healthy choice that won’t spoil their dinner. Give your dog his treats with a loving pat on the head, and he may even forget all about that hot dog! Well, maybe not, but you won’t have to deal with the after effects of a sick dog.
* Make sure your pets stay indoors in a secure location, such as a spare bedroom. For pets that are extremely frightened of fireworks noise, playing some soothing music at a low volume might help to calm them.
* Keep windows and doors closed to prevent your pet from running away if they become frightened by the fireworks
Many Americans love to celebrate Independence Day with backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and noisy fireworks that go POP POP BOOM BANG for hours on end. While these festivities may be great fun for people, they’re not so pleasant for our pets. I don’t have anything against celebrating the 4th of July holiday, really I don’t. But I shudder every time I see those familiar roadside fireworks stands materialize, because I know how scared my poor cats are going to be in the coming days.
Dogs and cats have acute hearing, and those noisy fireworks can send them scurrying for cover. Add the frightening flashes of light, and it’s easy to see why Independence Day can be stressful for pets. I remember how my childhood dog, Flavia, would bark wildly at our fireworks. She’d become so agitated we had to shut her indoors while we set them off. In retrospect, I think she was just trying to protect us from these strange and dangerous things.
Unless you live in a state that bans personal fireworks, you probably hear those familiar noises not only on July 4th, but for several days before and after. Each city sets their own laws for how many days neighborhood fireworks are allowed, but in general, it’s about a week. During this time, I rarely see my cats. They spend the week hiding under the bed, and sometimes don’t even emerge for their evening meal.
In the past, I’ve just let them “ride it out,” knowing things would be back to normal for them in a few days. This year I decided to research ways to lessen their Independence Day stress. Here are some tips for helping pets get through the 4th of July holiday without shattered nerves.
Keep your pets indoors on July 4th. Since firecrackers will be going off all day long, it’s best if pets (especially cats) stay indoors for the entire day.
Keep your windows and doors closed to prevent your pet from running away if they become frightened by the fireworks. Be sure they are wearing identification tags in case they do escape.
Give your pet something to do, such as toys that will keep them occupied for long periods of time.
Put on some soothing music, or turn on the television. This may help to mask the fireworks noise, as well as lessen your pet’s stress.
Create a temporary “safe haven” for your pet in the closet. Set down their pet bed or favorite blanket, some toys, water and perhaps even food. Being in the closet will help them feel safe because it’s enclosed, and the closet blocks out some of the noise of the fireworks.
If you’re having a party on the 4th, keep your pet behind closed doors, and be sure to put a sign on the door so that no one accidentally opens it. Cats especially, will feel more secure locked away from all of the hustle and bustle. Even if you have an outgoing dog who loves people, they could still get scared from the fireworks and bolt off, or help themselves to food and drinks that might make them ill.
Don’t take your dog to a fireworks display. No matter how calm they normally are, the noises and crowd activity on this day are just too unpredictable.
Distract your pet with some new treats, chews or toys. They may be so focused on these that they hardly notice all that cracking and booming going on around them. Admittedly, this tip is more for dog owners – I highly doubt new toys or treats will have any effect on my skittish kitties.
Some people give their pet a mild tranquilizer to help them get through the 4th of July holiday. For pets that become extremely distressed by loud noises, this could be a viable option. Please consult your pet’s vet if you are considering it.
Store your fireworks safely out of reach. Like children, pets are naturally curious about things they see lying around. To them, anything has the potential to be a fun new toy they can bat around or chew on. But fireworks contain substances that are harmful for pets and could even kill them, so be sure they’re kept where dogs, cats and kids can’t get to them.
Clean up the firework debris from your yard too, so your pet won’t try to play with it or gnaw on it.
Responsible pet ownership means keeping our pets safe, healthy and happy, to the best of our ability. I hope these tips help your pets come through the noisy 4th of July holiday unscathed. I’m also hoping that this year, I see more of my cats than fleeting glimpses of three trembling forms underneath my bed.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.