Fireworks Scare Pets

More pets get lost on the fourth of July than on any other day of the year.  There are multiple reasons for this statistic, primarily because many animals are afraid of the loud noises associated with fireworks and the fact that many people are outside in their yards on the fourth during celebrations, and do not take the time to make sure that the yard is completely escape-proof.  People coming and going into yards that are fenced may additionally forget to close gates all of the way, allowing scared animals to run away.  Taking some simple precautions to prevent your pet from running away can make the holiday more enjoyable for everyone involved, including your pet.

  1. Make sure your dog or cat is wearing a collar and that there is a current id tag securely attached and visible at all times.
  2. Before any celebration begins, take a clear and current picture of your pet, just in case they were to become lost.
  3. Early in the morning on the fourth, exercise your dog in order to tire them out before your celebration begins.  This will reduce their stress and make them less likely to attempt to escape.
  4. During any cookouts, make sure you ask your guests to play with your dog or cat far away from open flames.
  5. Dogs and cats are curious.  Keep fireworks, charcoal and other hazardous materials far out of the reach of pets.
  6. Pets are going to beg for food from your guests.  Make sure there are plenty of pet-treats on hand that are safe for people to feed them.
  7. During fireworks, lock your dog or cat in the house and give them a treat that will keep them busy.  Our suggestion is a stuffed treat that you know they prefer
  8. Dogs and cats are afraid of loud noises.  Play soothing and gentle music in your home to help cover the noise of the fireworks.
  9. Kennel your pet.  Animals find small spaces comforting.  Put blankets and toys into your pet’s kennel and keep them locked in during parties.
  10. Thundershirts keep many animals calm when loud noises happen.

Taking precautions before your celebration that will guard against your pet being lost is the best method of preventing them from running away.  The noise and confusion of the fourth and the fireworks, as well as the smells of meat cooking on open flames tends to make dogs and cats both curious and afraid, both of which will make them act in ways that they typically do not.  Just because they will “usually stay in the yard” does not mean that they will stay there on the fourth of July.

fourth of july precautions

Heat Stroke In Dogs

As the temperatures begin to rise in Las Vegas, pet owners must be more and more aware of the signs of heat stroke in dogs, as this condition can easily be fatal.  One of the most common causes of heat stroke in the Las Vegas area is dogs being left in hot cars (even for very short periods of time) as well as being left outside in years that have no shade or shelter.  Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating the way humans do, and instead they pant in order to keep themselves cool.  In a stuffy car, even if the windows are cracked, the temperatures will go over 110 degrees on a day when it is 85 degrees outside, and on a typical 100 degree Las Vegas day the temperature inside the car will reach 140 degrees in less than 15 minutes.  This is enough to send completely healthy animals into cardiac arrest and heat stroke in a very short period of time, as they cannot effectively cool their bodies off in that environment.  We urge you to never leave your dog in the car when you are not also inside it, even for “only a moment.”  Additionally, we urge you to not leave your dog outside in the yard for any extended period of time in the Las Vegas summer, as temperatures are far too hot for most dogs to survive very long without shelter.

The following types of dogs are more prone to heatstroke, and cannot be left in the heat even as long as other types of dogs:

  • dogs with short snouts
  • fatter/heavy muscle dogs
  • long-haired breeds
  • old/young dogs
  • dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication

If you see a dog locked in a hot car, immediately call the police at 911 and request that they arrive immediately at the location.  The animal may go into heatstroke within minutes, so act quickly.  If you see an animal with the signs of heatstroke:

  • heavy panting
  • profuse salivation
  • rapid pulse
  • very red gums/tongue
  • lethargy
  • lack of coordination
  • reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • loss of consciousness

Then immediately perform the following actions.  Get the animal into the shade and douse their body with cool (but not cold) water.  Allow them to drink small amounts of cool water, and continue dousing them until their breathing returns  to normal.  Immediately bring them to the nearest veterinarian or animal emergency room.

heat stroke in dogs