Phooey for Fireworks!

Posted by Pia

All I have to say is, don't get me started about fireworks....

Imagine suddenly hearing them and having no idea what they are... now add flashes of light that seem much like lightening and the occasional oohs, ahhhs and screams of humans as they go off. Scary!

Additionally, even though fireworks are illegal in many places, there are invariably plenty of neighborhood patriots still lighting them off at all hours for the days before and after the 4th. Naturally, these random sounds spook even the most secure critter to run for cover...myself included.

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Don't forget to honor the many service dogs who also serve, and have served, this country to a defend our independence and freedom!

1 Don't forget to honor the many service dogs who also serve, and have served, this country to a defend our independence and freedom!

Be sure fur kids stay cool in the heat.

2 Be sure fur kids stay cool in the heat.

Supervise pooches in area dog parks as there might be debris from fireworks or even unexploded fireworks that they could risk getting into.

3 Supervise pooches in area dog parks as there might be debris from fireworks or even unexploded fireworks that they could risk getting into.

Watch out so companion animals do not ingest any harmful holiday foods like onions, splintery bones or chocolate.

4 Watch out so companion animals do not ingest any harmful holiday foods like onions, splintery bones or chocolate.

Plan ahead to reduce stress and keep fur kids safe.

5 Plan ahead to reduce stress and keep fur kids safe.

Never leave companion animals in the car or anywhere without shade, water and ventilation

6 Never leave companion animals in the car or anywhere without shade, water and ventilation

Given that canine hearing is far more sensitive than humans, exposure to fireworks is not only far from festive, but may even be painful to pooches. A dog's ears are shaped in such a way that they amplify sound. They also hear noise over a greater distance and at a wider frequency range than humans do.

Statistics reveal that more dogs, go missing over the 4th of July than any other US holiday. Spooked dogs also tend do run farther, as the noise continues, than they might otherwise, which makes the chance of their safe return even less likely. This is tragic and preventable.

Thankfully, such risks can be greatly reduced with some simple preparation. As their 'parents,' we must keep our 'fur kids' safe and secure before and during the holiday.

1. I can not overstate the importance of keeping updated tags on all companion animals. Microchipping is also important, but a current, readable tag is critical. Providing a good Samaritan or local shelter with a simple way to reunite you with your loved one is the safest way to get him back. Without a tag, the journey home is far more complicated -- and therefore less likely.
Our nations shelters are filled with lost family pets who no one anticipated would ever get lost.

*For cats in particular it is important that a tag be on a 'quick-release' type collar for safety. Most pet supply stores will know what you are asking for if you request this.
Even though my cats are indoors only, I still keep a tag on each of them that has my cell phone number and the words, "If I am out, I am lost."

2. Many people travel over the holidays, leaving furry family with a neighbor, petsitter or friend- this is often unfamiliar and is frequently when animals escape or get lost. While it is critical to always have current tags, you might also consider getting a tag that includes your pet sitter's name and number if you are going to be unreachable while away.

3. Random fireworks can be heard everywhere on and around July 4th. It is essential that even the most obedient animals be secured in an area (preferably indoors) that does not allow them to escape. Special precautions should be taken to avoid leaving a companion animal unattended in a yard. It is also best they not be taken anywhere without a secure leash.

4. Close shades and curtains to both muffle sounds and conceal flashes of light. Play relaxing music (there is some made specifically for companion animals), and it can't hurt to add calming scents like lavender- but be sure they are out of reach so nervous critters don't ingest them.

5. Try to engage your animal's attention with toys, games or perhaps one of those hard rubber chew toys you can fill with peanut butter- I like to call this 'mission peanut butter' as it clearly becomes their mission to get every last lick out of that pesky toy!

6. If possible, stay home with your companion animals during any local fireworks events-and ideally over the entire holiday weekend.

7. Special compression shirts made to reduce canine stress during thunderstorms can be a great help as well- I use one with our biggest fur baby and it seems to be very effective.

While a holiday weekend may be festive for humans, it is always important to stop and consider how our companion animals perceive such events. Sudden and unfamiliar sounds shake their sense of security and illicit territorial reactions that might otherwise be uncommon for that particular animal to exhibit.

Our furry friends are naturally protective and it's up to us to shield them from any added stressors that might put them in danger.

Have a happy and safe 4th!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (13)

  • Hi Dr. Pia

    We are not fans of fireworks at our house especially T-Bone. He shakes and cries the big baby. I'm not bothered by them at all. Mom usually takes us all up to bed when they start and closes the blinds and turns the tv up but when the crazy neighbors start that is when T-Bone really freaks. I find them too dangerous.

    Have a Happy 4th !!


  • Hello Dr. Pia,
    I am glad you posted something about fireworks. Cyrus, a chow relative of mine who was in the fire is very sensitive to thunder and fireworks now and he wasn't before the fire. So when we are having a thunderstorm or local fireworks, Karen tries to be home with him and she turns the tv loud to try to drown out the loud noises which seems to help.
    Ok gang, I would like to clarify something. Yes I am a player, I like the ladies. But, I don't have a whole bunch of kids running around like, what is that one tv show, 20 and counting, something like that about a family named Duggers, I think that is their name. I have four children. I have three from one lady, two girls and a boy and we all know who he is and then I have a daughter from another lady that was born on my birthdate. Oh and I may or may not be the father to another boy that was recently born. We are waiting for the DNA results to come back. Maybe I could get on the Maury Povich show where they say, Maddox, you ARE the father. hehehehehehehehehe
    Chloe, it was good to hear from you again. Tell your mom you will dig one less hole a day if she allows you computer time. I think maybe our friend Delia was bad when she was visiting Kansas and I think she got a time out as well. She never posted any comments when she was on vacation with relatives and I am sure they have computers in Kansas. After all, they have a Wizard for goodness sake so i am sure they have computers. Did we hear from her? No! Delia, what did you do that you got a time out and lost computer time? See, Glue Squad, humans get in trouble too. It isn't Chloe or Zoe or Missy Chow all the time. hehehehehehehe
    Love to all,

  • Hi Dr. Pia,
    Fireworks make me run around barking & trying to guard the house. I get so worn out. I haven't lived with Mimi & Papa very long, but Mimi says that there used to be many neighbors that would shoot off fireworks. We can see the city fireworks from the roof of our back porch. They're far enough away that there is no noise! Hurrah! PS I don't go on the upstairs porch. No flying for this guy.
    I have to check yesterdays comments. Did we hear from Lynn?
    Have a great day everybody. Stay cool. We'll be about 103 today.
    Your pal,

  • Hello Dr.Pia!
    Great advice for the Holiday of the 4th...although I LOVE what the day stands for, I do dislike the firecrackers and all that loud noise that comes with it. There is so much drought and fire danger and I just don't understand why the money is wasted on such things when there is so much hunger in both humans and animals...and all those poor frightened animals from the loud forgive me if I have stepped on anyone's toes...It's JMO ;-) I'm just wired to think like this.

    OK Maddox please forgive me with a big sloppy blue tongue kiss...I was going to comment using my daughters Mac Pro computer but I had difficulty with using that fancy-smancy mouse...I DID go back and read all the posts and commented, I always do that.

    I will be going on a River Cruise from Prague to Paris through Germany coming will most likely not be posting then either, so sweet Maddox forgive me, but I will update all.

    Thanks all those that noticed I was absent and welcomed back...that was nice!

    I pray for ALL our Glue-squader's and your sweet furever pets to be safe this Holiday.

    delia and Kitty =^! !^=

  • Hello Dr.Pia, Franny, Sharkey, Rebel, Maddox, Zoe,and all the glue squad,
    I don't remember what I do in the firework situation. I am always so busy that day running around trying to get morsels of barbecue that usually I end up sleeping through it. Last year was my first 4th here with my new family and I was in a children's costume show during the day and won a ribbon in my scrub/veterinary technician costume!!
    Mom told me I do not have to dress up this year, hurray.
    Maddox, we did not think you were papa to more than four pups. Delia, welcome back lady and purrs to kitty. Rebel, you are smart to stay off the deck so no bungee jumping. Lynn, hope you are staying cool and safe. Chloe, did you dig the hole to look for treasure? maybe you can tell your owners you were just checking for civil war artifacts again. Mom gave me lots of cuddle time late last night while she watched a car show on tv so off for my beauty nap. Bark loud and be proud glue squad! ABBY

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. Is it time for fireworks already? It seems like just yesterday that they were banging and booming. It was just yesterday; Fort Gordon fires off cannons for some occasions. Don’t know what they are for most of the time but I hear them all the time. I live less than five miles from the fort and my house shakes at times. Fireworks is the normal “southern” thing all year around. On the fourth, I will have to take one of those “I don’t give a darn” pills. My sister had a stroke because of the thunder and I have to take one of those pills to calm me down during bad storms or fireworks. Give me two and I melt away; what a trip.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank you for all of that informative information that all animal parents need to know about protecting all of their furbabies during the extremely noisy 4th of July. My sweet little Dudley Do Right isn't afraid of the fireworks but I always keep him inside anyway and then go out the next day to see if any fireworks fell in our yard! I love your beautiful photos, also! Maddox, you are a great papa and we love to hear about your babies and especially handsome GK! Delia, it's nice to hear from you whenever you can comment and hope Kitty is still happy you are back home! Zoe, Abby, and Rebel sure hope you do well on the 4th and will check back later to hear from the rest of you great buddies! Dr. Pia and Minnow plus rest of your family, hope you are safe and happy! Love Jan and DDR

  • What a great idea to write on the kitty tags, although truthfully I wish those kitties were not so pushy with my mom and wanting her attention is MY job... Darn it if mommy gets new collars like she said after reading this then I can never get rid of those kitties... Sigh. Dr Pia, dogs rule, cats drool!! That's the way I see it!! Xxxx Fala.

  • I'm a human and I don't like fireworks!

    Don't get me started on irresponsible firework enthusiast. Grrr...

    Let's be safe and sane this Fourth of July!


  • Hello Dr. Pia & Prof. Minnow,
    I am sooooo thankful for all your posting, both photos and advice for the 4th. I, like Delia, love what it stands for, but am not a fan of the noise and problems for animals. Here in Colorado, there will not be any fireworks on purpose that is this year, with all the wildfires going on. Colorado is such a dry state and then you add a dry winter and now lightening and all these wildfires, I don't think any of us are in the mood for more sparks. I will watch Independance Day with Will Smith and call it good. I know you all have the best Moms and Dads and will be safe this 4th and I will think positive thoughts that all our furry kitty and doggie friends stay safe inside and protected.
    Hugs & smiles,
    P.S. Maddox, I know you will protect your buddy, Cyrus from all the booms. He has been through so much from the bad kennel fire. He is lucky to have you and Karen looking after him.

  • Hi all,
    Just checking back with my very special friends
    Delia, I was teasing with you. When are you going on your next trip? By the way, did you have a good time in Kansas? I have been to many states all over the country when I was showing but I was never in Kansas
    Hey Rebel, how are your ducks doing? Kirby, that is sad that your sister had a stroke because of the thunder. Karen always says it would be so much easier forus animals if we truly knew what they were saying to us, like when they tell us that the thunder will not hurt us, that they will protect us. Abby, I bet you looked current in your outfit last July 4th. I have gotten dressed up at times for various things. I think I look like a dork but if it brings a smile to my humans faces, I don't mind. Besides, I know I will be getting extra treats for doing it. Hehehehehe
    Later maniacs,
    PS - Lynn, you will get a new puppy when the time is right. And when you do get one, yore first thing you will need to do is teach him or her how to get onto the Daily Wag. We will take the puppy under our wing, or should I say paws and teach it how to be bad right from the start so we can laugh, right Cora-Belle and Zoe?

  • Hi Dr Pia and Glue Squad, love the patriotic pictures, all our friends look so happy in costume & celebrating the 4th. This will be my first 4th of July ever and will be celebrating with Mom & Dad. I don't know what they have planned; but I know there will be fireworks in the city at the fair. I've heard them already but not quite sure where they were coming from and didn't seem to scare me yet. Maddox, keep an eye on Cyrus, let him know that everything will be okay. Good to hear from you Chloe, hope you are behaving today, welcome back Delia-sounds like your next trip will be exciting. Cora-Belle, hope you are feeling good. Mom said her chin feels much better after our minor collision this week. Thank goodness, I certainly would not want a loooong timeout.

    Hi Lynn, hope you had a great anniversary celebration...

    It's a late posting but wanted to say "hey" to all my buddies.

    Till next time,
    Missy Chow

  • We have lots of fireworks all summer long here in Milwaukee. My sisters and I don't care, although sometimes Demi barks at them a little bit. Mostly we worry about other four leggies who are scared of them and hope, hope, hope that their people take Dr. Pia's advice.

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