Fido fears fireworks – Sierra Vista Herald

Posted: July 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm

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SIERRA VISTA For pets, Independence Day can be a stressful time as the loud pops and sudden bangs of fireworks sound off in the dark of the night. The holiday makes for one of the busiest weeks for animal shelters across the nation because of the amount of dogs that get out of their yards during firework shows.

Dogs get frightened with fireworks and escape, so pretty much that whole week, we are taking in strays, said Arleen Garcia, the animal control supervisor at the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center.

Nationally, July 4 is the busiest day of the year for animal control in general. Animal shelters experience a 30 percent increase in stray population right after the Fourth, according to Pet Amber Alert, a pet recovery service. On average, only 14 percent of lost pets are returned to their owners.

Last year, the Huachuca City Animal Shelter took in a few animals related to July 4 escapes and all were returned to their owners.

It was a little unusual, but good, said Nikki Haines, the Huachuca City animal control supervisor. Im really glad about that.

These animals were lucky, most dont make it back home. Pet Amber Alert reports between 30 to 60 percent of July 4-related strays are euthanized in the U.S.

Loud noises can be distressing to some dogs, prompting them to make a quick getaway. Other dogs might get the urge to find their owners during the loud blasts, Haines said.

There are, all of the sudden, these loud noises that dont normally occur and [the owners] are not there, so [dogs] arent able to protect their owners, she said. Youre part of the pack and they cant protect you when youre not there.

Leaving pets indoors is the best way to ensure that they dont escape. Both Garcia and Haines said, for some animals, a kennel or crate inside a secure room can do the trick.

Unless theyve had their dogs around firearms, like hunting dogs, most people should keep [their dogs] at home or possibly inside, Haines said.

To help drown out the noise, both Garcia and Haines suggest leaving relaxing music or the television on to distract their pets from the noise. Leaving on sounds that dogs are often around also helps with stress, Haines said.

If a dog or cat is extremely stressed out by loud noises, Haines suggests seeking help from a veterinarian for medication to alleviate anxiety. She said pet parents can also find over-the-counter medication but they should follow all directions and check with a pet professional before administering it to their furry friend.

This Independence Day, Haines wants pet parents to remember that a fear of loud noises can come with an age, Haines said. She said some animals mightve been able to handle the noise while they were young but developed a fear as they got older.

You should know your pet, she said. You may want to leave them home at this time and make sure that they feel safe.

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Fido fears fireworks - Sierra Vista Herald

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