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Humane Education Leads to Progress
For Informed Dog Owners

Vision Statement: We envision a society free from discrimination, where responsibility, education, love and compassion allow humans to fully respect and understand man's best friend.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Safety Tips

Hello all! Dr. Mandi here with some 4th of July safety tips for our furry canine friends. Independence Day celebrations can be great fun for us humans, but the noise, visual stimulation and multitude of BBQ leftovers and table scraps can be traumatic and harmful for dogs. By being aware and following a few simple tips, EVERYONE can have a wonderful holiday experience.

DOGS DO NOT LIKE FIREWORKS - Simple enough! Bangs, explosions, bright and flashing lights, screams of delighted children and other 4th of July noises can create confusion and fear for our furry friends. Dogs can occasionally run away from home during these festivities because they are fearful. A dogs sense of hearing is much more acute than a humans - more than 10 times as sensitive! So imagine how scary fireworks can be for them. Also, there is the possibility that some dogs could mistake fireworks for toys and attempt to run after them causing them serious injury. So it is important to KEEP DOGS INSIDE during the festivities for their protection.

KEEP DOGS AWAY FROM DOORS - Because dogs can be under significant stress during this time of year they could possibly cause unnecessary injury to visitors and could also dart out of the door and get lost. Also make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations (especially Rabies) and has a current tag or license on his/her collar, or are microchipped in case any of these situations occur.

CREATE A SPECIAL AREA WHERE YOUR DOG FEELS SAFE - Dogs are den animals. This means they will feel safe in a kennel (dog crate) or small enclosed area like under the bed. This is why dogs hide in places like this when they are frightened. Introducing your dog to a kennel (crate) will create a feeling of safety for them and calm them. I know that my dogs feel much better during the 4th of July or thunderstorms when they are in their kennels with their toys and some fresh water. Also, it is important to try to not make a big deal about the fireworks/noise. When you treat your dog differently during these events you inadvertently reinforce fearful behavior.

KEEP TV OR RADIO ON - This will reduce the noise and bright flashes from scaring your dog.

NO TABLE SCRAPS/BONES - Although it may be tempting to share our Independence Day goodies with our furry friends this can cause some serious harm to them. Bones area ALWAYS a no-no as they can puncture internal organs or cause intestinal obstruction which can lead to serious illness or death. Any type of "human food" treats that are outside a dog's usual diet can cause vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration, low blood sugar and other serious complications, especially in small dogs. Keep a handful of your dogs treats nearby to give him/her instead of table treats.

CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN - If your dog is so fearful that he is causing himself injury or becoming ill, please call your veterinarian. Your vet may want to prescribe medication/sedative to help your dog cope with their fearfulness.

Following these simple steps can help everyone to have a safe and happy Independence Day. Everyone have a wonderful 4th of July!!


Helping-pets said...

Protecting our pets properly before they go missing is vital to giving them a fighting chance to be reunited with their families. There is a great service called helpmefindmypet.com that proactively protects and alerts the community when your pet is missing. They also send you a visual I.D tag as well and work with or without a microchip. I personally believe that if we take the responsibility in owning a pet we should also make sure to protect them properly. Helpmefindmypet.com also has the owner in mind because they only charge a one time fee instead of charging yearly and updating fees. Once you have purchased the account is activated for life. They also give you the ability to access your account for easy updating if you move or your contact information changes. Pets usually only have a 10 percent chance of finding their way home when they go missing, but with this service they chances go up to 86 percent. If we protect our pets in advanced we will have a better chance of brining them home, because every second counts.

Dr. Mandi said...

Thank you for your comment. It is very important to identify your pet by applying for a license, microchipping or using programs such as helpmefindmypet.com. I have my pets registered on that site and I regularly receive email alerts letting me know about local pets that are lost. Such programs will give pets a much better chance of reaching home!

These are the dogs of HELP FIDO...our dogs...this is why we are here...