Kaboom! Consider the noise your terrified dogs and cats will feel from fireworks this Fourth of July weekend

Headline Surfer photo illustration / Your dog will be just as much a scaredy cat as your feline when they are subjected to the never-ending fireworks this Fourth of July holiday. 
Youtube video download /  Hope for Paws video / Rescue of runaway dog frightened by fireworks. 
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

SANFORD, Fla. -- If you think a thunderstorm is scary, consider the impact on your pets, especially dogs, when lighting fireworks during this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

From his 25 years of experience as a veterinarian, Dr. Eduardo Fonseca, DVM., knows all too well that when frightened by the loud booming sounds of fireworks and the array of streaming colors falling from the night sky, dogs and cats, will do anything to escape what is their armageddon. 

While cats nmay scamper under a tight hiding place, dogs will run hard and fast -- the louder and more frequent the sounds -- from the kabooms to the whizzing rat-tat-tat sound they hear. They'll look for the path of least resistance, a sliding door, a hole or gap in a fence. Some dogs can be so frightened by fireworks, they'll even jump through a closed window -- glass and all -- to get away from the loud sounds. 

"If they are frighened enough while being left behind in an empty house, a big dog might jump right through a closed window -- to try and escape without realizing the noise is even coming from outside," Fonseca told Headline Surfer in a phone interview after his shift ended at the 434 Animal Hospital in Longwood, explaining it's the "anxiety" factor. 

Invariably, some pets will not make it back home, Fonseca said: They'll either get struck and killed by a passing motorist or just so frightened that they become disoriented and end up in bizarre settings like a forest or wetlands. Under such circumstances, they can become dehydrated or fall victim to wild animals. "The fifth of July is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters,"  said Diane Anderson, a Central Florida animal behaviorist. "Why?  Because the night before, pets all over town flee their homes in fear running from fireworks. How do you prevent this from happening to your pet?" 

Anderson suggested pets at least have ID tags on their collars, and ideally, a micro chip. Even without the latter, there are steps pet owners can take to present their dog or cat from becoming a tragic statistic, which is possible since they are frightened and may bolt into traffic, especially at night.

So Anderson suggests the responsible pet owner stay home with them. 

"Many pet parents take this approach on this particular holiday," she said. "If you are keeping a watchful eye on your pet, they won’t get out and get lost."

Eduardo Fonseca, DVM / Headline SurferFrom his 25 years of experience as a veterinarian, Dr. Eduardo Fonseca, DVM., knows all too well that when frightened by the loud booming sounds of fireworks and the array of streaming colors falling from the night sky, dogs and cats, will do anything to escape what to them is their armageddon. 

While cats may scamper under a tight hiding place, dogs will run hard and fast -- the louder and more frequent the sounds -- from the kabooms to the whizzing rat-tat-tat sound they hear. They'll look for the path of least resistance, a sliding door, a hole or gap in a fence. Some dogs can be so frightened by fireworks, they'll even jump through a closed window -- glass and all -- to get away from the loud sounds. 

"If they are frighened enough while being left behind in an empty house, a big dog might jump right through a closed window -- to try and escape without realizing the noise is even coming from outside," Fonseca told Headline Surfer, in a phone interview after his shift ended at the 434 Animal Hospital in Longwood, explaining it's the "anxiety" factor. 

Invariably, some pets will not make it back home, Fonseca said: They'll either get struck and killed by a passing motorist or just so frightened that they become disoriented and end up in bizarre settings like a forest or wetlands. Under such circumstances, they can become dehydrated or fall victim to wild animals. 

Animal behaviorist Diane Anderson / Headline Surfer"The fifth of July is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters,"  said Diane Anderson, a Central Florida animal behaviorist.

"Why? Because the night before, pets all over town flee their homes in fear running from fireworks. How do you prevent this from happening to your pet?" 

Anderson suggested pets at least have ID tags on their collars, and ideally, a micro chip. Even without the latter, there are steps pet owners can take to present their dog or cat from becoming a tragic statistic, which is possible since they are frightened and may bolt into traffic, especially at night.

So Anderson suggests the responsible pet owner stay home with them. 

"Many pet parents take this approach on this particular holiday," she said. "If you are keeping a watchful eye on your pet, they won’t get out and get lost."

If that's not possible here is an alternative as suggested by Anderson: "If you cannot stay home, secure your pet. Crate them or shut them in a secure room.  Also, make sure that this secure space is away from any windows where they might see the flashes of light from the festivities. Leave the TV or radio on to help muffle the sound. If your pet already suffers from anxiety, place a dog thunder jacket or cat thunder jacket on him or her and spray a calming mist on their bedding. You can also purchase calming treats. As a last resort your veterinarian can prescribe anti anxiety medication.

Fireworks are not the only hazard Independence Day brings to our pets. Many people celebrate the holiday with a back yard barbecue. There are hidden hazards there as well. Your dog may end up eating food you do not intend for them to eat.

Here are some other tips as suggested by Anderson:

• If you have an outside pet (read about the hazards of leaving your dog or cat outside, no matter the day), consider bringing them in for the night. Not only will they benefit from a quieter environment, but unfortunately, there are some people who do horrible things to animals with fire works. Protect your pet. Overall it is best to keep your dog as involved in family activities as possible, as safely as you can.

• If you find a lost pet, check for ID tags. It may be as simple as calling the number on the tag to reunite the pet with their family. If no tags are present, please call your local animal control or bring the pet to them if you can. They can scan the pet for a micro chip, plus it will be the place the owners will most likely check first.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.