Keep Your Dog Safe during Holiday “Run Away” Time

Tips for keeping pets safe and comfortable during fireworks and other noisy holiday celebrations.

By Best Friends Pet Care Trainers

The coming holiday week – with its fireworks, firecrackers and other loud noises -- can be terrifying to dogs.  Some run away, trying to escape the sound; in fact, the Fourth of July week is peak time for lost dog reports.

Resist the temptation to take your dog with you to the community fireworks display or a backyard celebration that includes firecrackers. Even if your dog hasn’t been troubled by loud noises in the past, this could be the time that she runs off to escape the scary sounds. 

Following are our top tips for keeping your pets safe during all the noisy celebrations next week.  

  • Don’t leave a fearful dog outdoors. Bring him indoors to a quiet area of your home – preferably an interior room where the noise is muffled.  Move his bed and some toys into the room for comfort and turn on a radio or TV to help mask the load noises outside.  
  • Don’t leave your dog alone during fireworks.  Stay with her and try to distract her by playing a game or practicing obedience skills.  Talk to her in a calm voice.  
  • Don’t leave your pet alone.  If you can’t be home with him during fireworks, find someone to stay with him, or take him to a boarding facility with indoor rooms. The company of other dogs and the attention of caring humans can help distract him when you aren’t there.  

For more advice on coping with fireworks fears, visit our Dog Dish blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom Falconieri July 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Tom Falconieri July 09, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Tom Falconieri 6:27 pm on Monday, July 9, 2012 Here is a DOG being a DOG. Sally is a GUN dog. She was traines at the range and we have a big pond their. She is a pure bred champion retriever as you can see. We always play with her as you can see in this photo.Being a dog and a dog owner is a great responsibility. Sally knows who is the BOSS and she wastrained by me and my wife. You have to spend lots of time with them and be dedicated to the cause. To many times people have dogs for the wrong reasons. One thing i HATE WITH A PASSION is dog shows. Just me . But as you can see she is a great dog. When e would go duck hunting the minute she heard the shot she would look up at me as to say. HAY DUMMY can i go and get that bird. I give her the command and right in to the water and she comes back with the bird. She absolutely loves it. But now at 12 she has arthritis and bad hips, So we now play with he and make he confertable. When she hears the fireworks she looks at me and wags her tail. She is waiting for me to give her the command . But she knows she is now retired and living the good life as she always deserved Thank You. Remember let dogs be dogs that is all they ask of YOU.
Craig Zac July 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Hi Diane, you took the words right out of my mouth..I was one of the first to try the thundershirts out when they were first comming out and they do work prettygood. The woman who made them contacted me to see if we would like a couple to try out at the shelter I was involved with so I said yes. they worked good and so I bought one from her.. when I put it on my dogs you can see how much it helps. One falls right to sleep (she is deaf so thunder / fireworks dont bother her) the other is a big baby of a hound dog and while he still shakes a little and wants to be in your lap during loud times, he doesnt pant, pace and bark as he would with out it.
Craig Zac July 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I like fireworks (watching them that is) But only on the fourth, Not on every other night from when Walmart starts selling them till they stop. (June to August) other than on the 4th, its just an annoying, obnoxious noise to have to deal with. what if I sat in my driveway on a harley and revved the engine every night from 9 till 11 or so from june 1st to August 1st? lol I bet the cops would be there in a heartbeat! I honestly dont mind others spending what little money they have on fireworks so I can enjoy the light show but really, every night all summer? Thats just a bit obnoxious no?
Diane Podolsky, CPDT-KA, CTC February 27, 2013 at 06:10 PM
As a certified professional dog trainer, I'm disappointed that some pet parents here do not seem to understand noise phobia: what it is and what it is not. Before arguing, did anyone consult a dog trainer? A few things to keep in mind. Gun dogs were selectively bred to be less sensitive to specific types of noises than other dogs. It is normal for dogs to be startled and even extremely frightened by explosions. (Veterinary behaviorists, please correct me.) Not phobia. Noise phobia may be genetic in origin. I do not know whether a double blind study has been performed to prove the effectiveness of the Thundershirt. I do know that many dog trainers recommend them and I have spoken with pet parents who report good results. I have also spoken with pet parents who saw no results. With a sample population of one (my own dog, who has been diagnosed with storm phobia by three veterinary behaviorists), I have had excellent results using vanilla scent on his collar when a storm is approaching to block the storm's smell. Do note that my dog is elderly and is now deaf, so he can no longer hear thunder. He is, however, very frightened if he smells the storm coming, hence the vanilla. I cover the windows, too. Ask your veterinarian before trying any scent on your dog's collar. If your vet gives the ok, it might be worth a try. Please have compassion for pet parents whose dogs are not the same as yours. Diane Podolsky, CPDT-KA, CTC http://www.theculturedcanine.com


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