July 4th Fireworks
Posted on Jul 4th, 2010

Though we appreciate everyone's desire to celebrate today with cookouts and fireworks, please be considerate of those within our community who are terrified by such displays.  This includes pets and people.
Never leave your fireworks displays unattended and be aware of where the sparks land.  Our grass is bone dry right now and even a simple spark can cause a fire in an instant.  Please have a water source close at hand.
Never leave your grills unattended for even an instant.
Please keep your fireworks displays to no later than 10:30 pm
Please be aware that there are some people within our community who have lived in war zones.  The sounds and flashing lights can bring back bad memories so please be considerate.
Many pets are absolutely terrified of the sound of fireworks.  Here are some suggestions.
  • Animals that are frightened/stressed can hurt themselves and possibly escape if left alone, and the results can be fatal. Frightened animals running loose are in great danger of being hit by a car or other accident. 
  • As many pet lovers know, fireworks and thunder storms can cause a great deal of stress for some animals. Fear of loud sounds - fireworks, thunder, gunshot - are called noise phobias. For a pet affected by loud noises, this is a terrifying and uncomfortable time; both for the pet and the people. Your pet cannot control their reaction to loud noises. Many therapies exist to help with this condition..
  • Commonly seen signs of noise phobias include:  Shaking, trembling; Excessive drooling Barking, howling; Trying to hide or get into / out of the house, fence, or other enclosure; Refusing to eat food Some animals may loose bladder or bowel control or experience temporary diarrhea from prolonged stress.
  • Trying to escape from the loud noises can mean broken windows, torn fences, chewed doors or dog crates, and result in lacerations, foot pad injuries, teeth and mouth injuries or worse as they try to run from the disturbingly loud noises.
  •  It doesn't matter if the fears are "rational" or not. It should be noted that scolding a frightened animal is not effective will only intensify the fears. 
  • Practice Safety 
  • Keep pets home It may be tempting to bring along your dog(s) so everyone can enjoy the fun, but the loud noises aren't usually fun for pets. Plus, there are many other hazards - fire, food (dietary indiscretion), getting lost in the confusion, etc. that make staying home in a comfortable safe environment a good choice.
  • Keep pets indoors if possible It is advisable to close the curtains and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Calming or classical music are better than some TV or radio noise choices. Therapeutic music such as Through A Dog's Ear often work better at keeping your dog calm and providing an audio distraction.
  • Provide a safe "escape" place Many times pets will seek out a small den-like place (such as a crate), if they are fearful or stressed. If you do not already have a crate, bed or similar place that your pet can call his "own," it is recommended to create that safe place and familiarize your pet with it before needed, as a means of reducing stress during fireworks and thunderstorms.
  • Use a leash or carrier If you must be outside with your pet, keep the pet on a leash or in carrier at all times.
  • Practice fire safety Keep pet away from matches, lighter fuel, open fires, and fireworks - especially ones that are lighted on the ground. Pets may try to sniff (or eat) fireworks, and pet hair can easily catch fire if too close to the fireworks.
  • Take pet for a walk first If possible, make sure that you pet has time to "use the restroom" before the fireworks start. Some pets are too frightened to void once the fireworks begin, and this may lead to an "accident" later on.
  • Make sure pet ID is current Make sure that your pet has proper identification tags, with current information, in case s/he gets away. This will help the local authorities (who are quite busy this time of year handling frightened runaways).
Happy July 4th everyone.  May is be a fun filled, enjoyable day for everyone. 
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