Fourth of July No Picnic For Croton Dogs

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Outdoor fun for dogs can be hampered by loud, Fourth of July festivities. Make sure your pet is safe and unstressed during this raucous holiday week.
Outdoor fun for dogs can be hampered by loud, Fourth of July festivities. Make sure your pet is safe and unstressed during this raucous holiday week. Photo Credit: Julie Curtis

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — The holiday week, with its fireworks, firecrackers and other booming festivities around Westchester County, can be terrifying for dogs. Some run away, attempting to escape the sounds.

In fact, Fourth of July week is peak time for lost-dog reports, according to Companion Recovery Service, a not-for-profit pet identification service.

“Resist the temptation to take your dog with you to the community fireworks display or a backyard celebration that includes firecrackers,” said Jamie Ianello, a pet behaviorist and trainer for Westchester County-based Best Friends Pet Care. “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.”

Ianello has some tips for keeping pets safe during fireworks season:

  • Do not leave a fearful dog outdoors. Bring him inside 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 loud noises outside.
  • Do not 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.
  • Find alternate care for your dog. 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 loving humans can help distract him when you aren’t there.

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

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Comments (6)

Liberty is about balancing rights. Fireworks celebrations are an important symbol, fun for children and an import source of revenue for many small towns. Many dog owners are concerned about the effect of fireworks on their dogs (though unless you bring your dog to the fireworks ceremony it must be significantly less than the effect of thunder). Many parents of children are apprehensive whenever dog owners bring their dogs to public events where children are playing.

The lack of tolerance is always dangerous, witness the small upstate town intimidated by the federal government into canceling their annual fireworks celebration this year. You can read more about it at:

Too bad Mayor Bloomberg can't outlaw thunder,

Our late beloved dog, Cindy, was terrified from puppyhood of thunder and injured herself and damanged our home throughout because of this phobia. We even consulted with a dog psychologist to no avail. And, many dogs as well as some cats are fearful during thunder storms, so the advice in this article is welcome and valuable.

And, of course, dog owners should ensure that their pets are under control in public places and when visiting others; it's no fun to be around dogs who are untrained and less than friendly. On the flipside, parents must instill in their children an understanding of and healthy respect for dogs and other animals, and to treat them kindly. My own feeling is that children who have pets are more aware and competent in dealing with animals in general as well as human relationships. Kids and dogs go together and our daughter grew up with dogs and other pets, and it was a wonderful experience.

Finally, I would like to make another plea to parents and pet owners alike to refrain from leaving their children and pets unattended in cars; this should not occur at any time of year because cars tend to heat up when the motor is turned off, even when the windows are cracked, but this is an especially dangerous practice during the hot summer months. There have been many tragedies where infants, children and pets have died of exposure and dehydration because they were left unattended. Leaving windows open might help, but will also leave them vulnerable to those who might do them harm.

And how about, don't take your dog to the town Fireworks display because there are lots of children. When your dog freaks out next to a kid, its very scary for the child. I have personally been Bit by dogs that "Never bit before" during a fireworks display. Leave them Home for theirs, and everyone's Sake.

and go to a pet store and buy a thunder jacket to calm them.i think thats the name. they work against storms and loud noises.