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.