Independence Day is one of the most fearsome times of
the year for dogs and cats. Not only are the noises terrifying, but
there are also people who either through sadistic behavior or sheer
thoughtlessness, sometimes brought on by over-consumption of alcohol,
will attach firecrackers to animals, or even just try show the dog or
cat how exciting fireworks can be. Either way, this can cause pets to
dart out in front of cars, bite those that are terrifying them (risking
animal control impound), or run without knowing where it is going or how
to get back.
So, the best way to protect pets, whether it be your own
or your neighbors, is to keep them indoors, preferably in an interior
room, not near windows or glass doors. Play a radio or television loud
enough to help drown out the sound of firecrackers. It can be helpful to
play both radio and television at the time, as the alternated sounds
cover outside sounds even better.
If need be, your veterinarian can supply you with
tranquilizers for your dog or cat, but ask now, because all your vets
other clients may be asking too. Don't count on tranquilizers to do the
job without other measures. Frequently dogs will be so terrified if left
outside that it seems they were never medicated at all -- then after it
is all over, the tranquilizer finally works, and works strongly.
Many pet guardians stay home with their dogs and cats on
the fourth just to make sure they are safe and feel more secure. If that
is your choice, make sure you don't make your pet more phobic by
encouraging their fear. Petting and assuring your pet that all is well
can be seen as praise for the fear they are showing. It's important to
act as normal as possible.
Thinking about how you would feel if suddenly a war
broke out with bombs and grenades may help you to empathize with your
pet. Also, if you see a stray cat or dog that looks in need of a
temporary shelter, please be very cautious about being bit out of sheer
fear, but if you can do it safely, please let them have a place to stay
until the fourth is over.
Animal Rights Online wishes a happy and peaceful Fourth
of July to all of our subscribers and their companion animals.
Go on to A Whale of
a Story by Park [email protected]
Return to 2 July 2000 Issue
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