Fear of noise or noise anxiety is the most common phobia among dogs. It's normal for dogs to be afraid of loud noises because they trigger their nervous system and running away from the noise is a survival instinct. That is why more pets run away on July 4 than any other day of the year.
What do fireworks sound like to your pets?
Your pet experiences fireworks differently than other loud noises such as thunder and lightning because fireworks are closer to the ground, more pronounced and are almost always accompanied by loud and sudden booms, flashing lights and a burning smell if the fireworks are too close or too low to the ground. Pets experience the world through their senses — nose, eyes, and ears, so July 4 has proven to be devastating for pets who run away and owners who lose them.
How to Protect Your Pets on July 4
There are some very simple ways to protect your pet(s) from the threats that fireworks pose and they apply to dogs, cats, and other household pets, such as rabbits and ferrets:
- Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification in case he/she runs away, a microchip and collar are recommended
- If you are going out, place your dog or cat somewhere where he/she won't be alone and/or exposed to fireworks, perhaps with a pet sitter, at a boarding facility or in doggy day care
- Like cats, stressed out dogs can easily jump fences so your backyard is not a viable option
- Stay home with your pet and use a travel kennel or crate where he/she feels safe and accompany your pet outside to go potty until the fireworks are finished
- Block the doggy door before fireworks begin so pets cannot get outside
More pets run away on July 4 than any other day of the year
Unfortunately, animal shelters across the country are usually slammed the day or days after July 4, because so many pets get scared and run away. You know the problem, so be part of the solution. Stay home with your pets and protect them. That’s responsible pet ownership.
- Use Web sites such as petamberalert.com and savethepetsaz.com if your pet runs away
- Post your lost pets on social media sites such as Facebook's 'Lost Dogs of Arizona' and 'Straydar'
- Check Craigslist under lost and found and under pets