Independence Day Jitters

God Bless Americaaaaaaaa

Land that I looooooove

The fourth of July is the most patriotic day for most Americans, and simultaneously the worst day for their pets.  Statistically, more pets are lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. People are drunk, fireworks are loud, and animals generally feel unsafe.  My cat does not give a s*** about the fourth of July. Loud noises don’t freak her out, and for her it’s just another day. The dogs, on the other hand, are the complete opposite.  As soon as the fireworks start (which some years have been oddly early) all of a sudden I’m on high alert with my dog, and he is on high alert with the earth. Ordinances exist to protect civilians and our pets, yet you know as well as I do that very rarely are they followed. There are some things I’ve learned over the ears that helps to calm Riley down when the noises become too much.

 

Firstly, I keep Riley indoors basically all day on the 4th (excluding walks where I keep the leash on a much shorter distance in case he tries to escape). Generally your walls will conceal most of the noise, but also it’s much easier to mitigate the situation from inside your house than from outside. I’ve heard way too many horror stories of people who’s pets ran away and got hit by cars, or injured themselves while trying to escape this terrifying noise. I understand your dog may be clawing at the door, especially if you’re outside, but it’s just one of those days where it’s better to have them beg than have them injured.

 

Secondly, I think it’s important to remain calm. If your pet is inside and you’re by them, if you remain calm their nerves will subside. When Riley was younger, he would bark out of fear during loud noises. At first I used to comfort him, but over time I would ignore it as loud noises in the summer are just bound to happen around my house. If I don’t react to his reaction, he usually realizes that there is no danger present and will effectively calm down too. It’s kind of like when a kid falls and their parent starts to freak out so the kid starts crying. If the parent was to laugh (as I probably would after assessing the child is okay) the child wouldn’t cry over it. Same concept exists with your pets. They are just like children anyways.

Is Ella annoyed or is this her fighting evil face? Both. Probably both 😊

A post shared by Nicole Dikshteyn (@biganimalslittlevet) on

Last year, I had the unfortunate pleasure of walking Riley just as one of my neighbors decided to start letting off fireworks. As said before, when I know there may be noise or anything that might scare my dog I keep him on a shorter leash that way if anything was to happen I can easily get ahold of him. Lucky for me, I have a dog who when scared doesn’t run away but instead runs towards me. So here I am, walking my dog at 5 pm (which honestly is WAY too early for any kind of firework celebration. The sun was still out and everything. My neighbors were just being rude.), and all of a sudden a loud bang goes off. Riley jumped, and my immediate reaction was to get on the ground and hold him. If you’ve ever seen the anxiety scarf for small dogs, I basically hugged him in the same way just, ya know, with my arms. I know I just said that normally you should remain calm when your pets react, but this was just my instinct reaction. I was petting him and in less than 15 seconds he was kind of over the whole escapade. After that, as my neighbors released more fireworks, I remained calm and while he did jump a little at the noise he generally didn’t react as negatively as I would expect him too. Basically, what I’m getting at is if your dog is a dog that finds comfort in you, keep them close to you on the walk. This way, although they might be anxious over the noise your presence will give them a sense of safety.  With that said, if you have a fenced in backyard with nowhere to run away from, I recommend letting your dog do his business there rather than walking him, unless you have a generally quiet neighborhood.

Please keep your pets safe this 4th of July. Our celebrations shouldn’t bring harm to anyone or anything. And if you have a calm pet, it doesn’t mean your neighbor does too. With that said, fireworks are not only anxiety inducing to animals, so let’s be mindful of all of our neighbors and not make anyone uncomfortable with our holiday spirits.

 

Anyways, I hope this post may have given you some insight into what I do during Independence Day to ensure my dogs safety. I hope all of my fellow U.S followers enjoy their holiday!!

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