Friday, July 1, 2016

Are Your Cairns Ready for Fireworks?

Contributed by a CP Volunteer (originally posted 7/2/09)

Plan ahead so that you and your Cairns can enjoy the 4th in spite of the fireworks!

We all want to keep our dogs safe and secure in stressful situations, and fireworks can scare them.  Some dogs will exhibit signs of fear that can include pacing, panting, trembling, salivating, trying to escape and/or barking.  Many dogs will actually injure themselves when trying to escape.  (I've even seen dogs that were hit by a car when they tried to flee from noises.)  What can you do to help keep your dog stay calm during the fireworks this weekend?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Consider not taking your dog to the fireworks display.  Make sure that your dog will be calm at home, or stay home with your dog during the fireworks.  Keep your dog confined in a comfortable location, if possible.  Walk your dog BEFORE the fireworks start.

2. Don't try too hard to reassure your dog during a fearful event with petting, soothing words, or extra attention.  This can sometimes exacerbate the problem by reinforcing your dog's fearful response.

3. Some dogs are very sensitive to people's moods and may be influenced by the way that you react to the noise.  It is best to act happy and upbeat or to redirect your dog's attention to some absorbing activity.

4. If you must leave your dog at home alone during the fireworks, consider what would make your dog most comfortable.  Bring your dog indoors.  Would he feel safest in a crate?  Try turning on the radio, television, fan or air conditioner as "white noise".  Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" for your dog in case he is scared during the fireworks.

5. Pet anxiety studies have shown that music can have a calming effect on a stressed out pet.  I would recommend the Music My Pet CD.  This musical CD was created for the specific purpose of calming pets.  The classical music tracks were arranged to have a smooth soothing dynamic from beginning to end.  And the music is performed using only those instruments that have been proven to have a calming effect on pets (like the harp, flute and piano).  Try playing the CD before the fireworks begin to get your dog into a relaxed state, and continue playing it throughout the fireworks.

So, the best way to deal with this issue is to be prepared.  Before the fireworks begin, anticipate your dog's reaction to these loud noises.  Whenever possible try to avoid exposing your dog to fireworks.  If this is not possible, do everything that you can to make your dog feel more comfortable and secure.  Talk to your dog in a light, cheerful tone that sends a comforting message that the noise is no big deal.  Encourage your dog to find a quiet restful place to wait out the noise.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July and take some time to be sure that your pets do too!!
Remember:  Safety first in all of your Summer activities!


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