You may be looking forward to Independence Day, but chances are your furry, four-legged friend is not. Marc Bercovitch, a vet from BluePearl Pet Hospital, has the answer to the questions pet owners may have about why their animal is contributing to the noisiest day of the year.
Why are dogs scared of fireworks?
Bercovich thinks the infrequency and the unknown source of the fireworks’ sound contribute to the animal’s reaction. “They cannot anticipate so they see a flash and hear a bang. This does not happen frequently enough for them to be naturally desensitized.” Becovitch likened it to hunting: People who hunt may not react to gunfire, but those who don’t may be very startled by it.
What are some tips to comfort my dog during fireworks?
Bercovitch suggests that because dogs are creatures of habit, keeping them in familiar surroundings is important. “Often they are startled by the noise and sound so keeping them indoors, close the blinds and having music or TV on to dampen the noise may help,” he said.
Additionally, some dogs and cats that are prone to stress or anxiety may do well with a thunder shirt, which wraps around the pet to provide constant pressure in order to relieve those symptoms.
Is there anything I can give my dog for anxiety?
Bercovitch recommends you do not give them any medication before consulting a vet. “There are medications that may be of benefit to decrease anxiety or phobias,” if you ask your vet, he said. “No over the counter medications are really going to help.”
What should you do to prepare?
In the event of fireworks or any loud noises, Bercovitch has some tips on what a pet owner could do to prepare. “Make sure your pet is in a safe place, is well identified,” he said. Means of identification can be a microchip or a tag, but just make sure the contact info is updated.
Ideally pets should be left at home indoors in an escape proof location.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Dr. Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine) welcomes referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.