PODCAST (2:31) — Red&Howling, in a video cartoon, says it best: FIREWORKS ARE LIKE THE APOCALYPSE TO ANIMALS!
It’s true. The 4th of July is the largest single occasion when pets go missing each year. Frightened by loud noises and strange, sudden bright lights, dogs escape and can quickly end up dead.
On our 6/28/20 KSCO Pet Radio program, Colleen Combs of Green Dog Rescue in Windsor (Sonoma County) joined Laura Pakis, Josh Stephens, and myself to talk about July 4th pet safety.
Colleen brought up an idea I’d never considered. And it’s one that should make us all as more conscious of how we react and not just of our pets’ reaction. The two-and-a-half-minute podcast deals with just this aspect of our conversation.
Pets fireworks fear can be magnified by their humans’ reaction to the fireworks. Thus, our over-the-top concern for frightened dogs and cats can actually frighten them even more on top of the explosives themselves.
When fireworks go off, and especially when and after pets react to them, some people also “go off,” sometimes screaming and cussing about the fireworks and the POS neighbors who set them off year-after-year. And complaining about the real stable geniuses who fire off illegally large fireworks that generate explosions “boomy” enough to trigger car alarms.
Animals react to their owners’ emotional states and you getting all upset about these events can directly transfer to the animals. Dogs are especially prone to this.
You don’t mean to, but your reaction to fireworks can validate your pet’s decision to run fast and try to hide.
A Better Reaction to Pets Fireworks Fear
Your better reaction? Speak to your animals in a normal soothing voice and snuggle with them in a calming manner. Avoid the baby-talk voice and speak matter-of-factly in a way the animal will find comforting.
Not everyone has these problems, but this fear can prove deadly to an infirm senior, such as an old chihuahua that literally died in her owner’s arms in 2018.
Be Ready to Help
There is something else you can do about pets fireworks fear, and that’s be available as an overnight foster when lost, friendly dogs start turning up. Local rescues and lost-and-found Facebook groups often find dogs that need short-term housing until they can be reunited with their owners.
If you have a pets fireworks fear experience or comment, please tell us. We’d love to hear from you about this lifesaving issue.
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