“Mommy, what’s that loud sound? It scares me and stresses me out terribly.”
If only dogs could talk, right? But unfortunately they can’t, we as responsible pet owners must learn how to read their body language and know when they are stressed out and don’t feel good.
As an avid animal lover, I felt compelled to write this article being the Fourth of July is upon us.
The Fourth of July is a terrifying time of year for animals. They can’t escape the loud noises, where can they go? It’s everywhere!
Some dogs (not very many tho) the fireworks don’t bother them too bad, but for most it can be just down right terrifying and traumatic for them.
Please don’t dismiss your pets during this time of year, this is when they need you most.
You are their security, their comfort, their human.
Learn the warning signs your dog is stressed out. Every dog, just like humans, have their own distinct and individual personality. What one dog does during a situation, not all will do the same thing. If your dog is jumping on you or in your lap, pacing, panting, going behind furniture, going from room to room to look for a spot to get away from the sound or, what one of mine does…. trying to tear a hole in a wall, then your dog is totally stressed out and NEEDS YOU!
A lot of people take their animals with them over to their friends or to the lake or fireworks exhibits or wherever they are celebrating their Fourth of July.
Please don’t be one of those Pet owners that says, “Oh my dog is so well behaved, they will stay by my side the whole time.”
Pet Amber ALERT infographcs report a increase of about 30% of missing pets during the 4th of July holiday. Want to substantiate this info? Start watching your Facebook pet groups you’re in and see for yourself the increase in the number of missing pets during the 4th season. It’s phenomenal!
Don’t be a missing pet statistic, micro chip your animal and KEEP YOUR PETS AT HOME! Keep them at home and keep them inside the house, where they can’t jump a fence or dig under it to try to find mommy and daddy and escape the noise.
Keep them in a safe room, close the blinds, turn on the tv or some music to help drown out the noise of all that’s going on outside in that big, scary world. (Don’t blare it, just a normal volume that you listen to is suffice)
Some people swear by the Thunder Shirt for dogs, they claim that it helps calm their pet, others haven’t been too impressed with it. It basically amounts up to what works for your pet. (Remember earlier where I said each pet has an individual personality?)
If your dog is crate trained then you can also put them inside their crate in their safe room with a sheet over it to create a safe haven for them.
Always make sure your pets have an adequate supply of fresh water tho, they become parched easily while being nervous and panting.
Don’t have time to order a Thunder Shirt? This page here has an awesome clone you can make yourself at home.
Below is another easy and practical method of wrapping your dog with a scarf, that PAWS tweeted:
We suggest using a scarf (length depending on the size of the dog), but really any stretchy piece of fabric will do. Simply place the center of the scarf across the dog’s chest and cross the ends over the shoulders.
Next, cross those ends beneath the chest and bring back up, tying in a secure knot away from the spine.
The scarf should be snug, but not constricting. Like the ThunderShirt, the slight pressure around the body (like a constant hug!) is supposed to deliver a calming effect, or at least take the nervous edge off.
This DIY option is ideal in a pinch, and could very possibly save your pup from unnecessary discomfort.
If your pet gets so scared and has severe reactions as my poor Cienna does during this time of the year, please consult with your Vet, they may be able to prescribe some anti anxiety medicine that really, truly helps in situations like this.
(^^ Pictured above is Cienna ^^, or you may know her by her Native American name… “Cienna Couch Walker”)
What kind of severe reactions to thunderstorms are we talking about here? Some canines have hurdled themselves through plate glass windows. Cats have been known to hide behind freezers only to be burned by the coils in the back. Dogs are more commonly scared of loud noises than cats…. unless of course they’re my cats Marley and Fiona, they absolutely freak around loud noises, this includes a big semi truck or the UPS guy driving by on the street.
Other severe reactions can include destroying furniture, soiling carpets, not wanting to go outside for hours after the fireworks are over and developing an all-out fear of other loud noises (or even not-so-loud noises).
Let’s keep our pets safe this Fourth of July holiday!
If your pet hasn’t been micro chipped, I strongly urge all pet owners to do so. Dogs can slip out of collars making it difficult to determine who the owner is. Having your pet micro chipped can speed up the process of returning your pet in some unforeseen circumstances that they go missing.
If you find a lost animal, take the following steps to help get them back to their owner:
If they are not aggressive and you can get them to come to you, put them in your fenced in yard or garage to try to contain them until you can locate the owners. Or if This is not possible, please call animal control immediately so they can come get them and take them to safety.
Take pictures of the animal and post them in local animal rescue groups and pages.
If they have a collar on and it has a tag, get the animal clinic name off of the tag and call them with the rabies vaccination number. They can pull up the owners name and contact number that way and help you reunite them with their owner.
If the animal doesn’t have a collar and tag on then take the animal into any local vet and have them scanned for a micro chip.
But please, PLEASE don’t dismiss the animal. They are lost and scared and need your help to get back home where they belong. Do everything in your power to help the animal. They can’t talk, we are their voice, we are the human.
If you are in or around the Wichita, KS are then I recommend the following vets that I personally use:
They are absolutely wonderful vets and their staff is the greatest! They are very knowledgeable, caring vets and they treat your pets as if they were their own! They can get your animal micro chipped and come up with the best plan for your beloved pet if they suffer from severe anxiety during the Fourth of July holiday or during thunderstorms.
I also recommend the following Facebook Animal pages. These are very useful pages if your animal becomes lost. Many animals have been safely returned home by utilizing these pages:
Again, the above pages are local to the Wichita, KS area. The admins are avid animal lovers like myself and take the time out of their busy lives to help the animals. Make sure you like them on Facebook and share their posts regularly.
I dedicate this article to ALL of the fur babies I have lost in my lifetime, most to cancer, a couple to heartworms. This article was written from my heart, my love and my passion for ALL animals.
WE ARE THEIR VOICE!!
My beloved dogs…
Shadow, Bandit, Sasha, Weiner, Shelby, Pepper, Duke, Princess.
My beloved Ferrets…
Ace, Romeo, Sox, Rascal, Sammy, Stormy, Angel, Sable, Sage.
And to all of the feral and stray kitties that have crossed my path and come and gone.
R.I.P. my Loves. ❤🐶🐻🐯
Please know the early warning signs of cancer and heart worms in your animals. Early detection can help lengthen their life and keep them as comfortable as possible in their final days.
Please spay and neuter your animals and put them on a heart worm preventative and take them in regularly for check ups.
Have a Happy and SAFE 4th of July Holiday weekend!