The results are in and 80 percent of dogs overwhelmingly dislike Fourth of July celebrations. Our history is rich in inspiring stories of how our Founding Fathers fought for our separation from British rule. We often neglect the history of our country and the important role the dogs of our Founding Fathers played in early America. During the siege of Yorktown in 1781 a large British Bulldog chased cannonballs fired at colonial troops, obviously all dogs do not fear loud noises. In October 1777 after the Battle of Germantown Colonial troops found a foxhound identified as belonging to British General William Howe. General George Washington cleaned, brushed, fed, and returned the dog to his owner General William Howe. Even in desperate times while fighting for our freedom dogs were marveled for their bravery and honored by being returned to their owners.
We know dogs and cats have a heightened sense of sound and smell and fireworks are guaranteed to deliver a multisensory extravaganza for your dog or cat. Fireworks are packed with loud noises, flashes of bright light, and smells of sulfur. It’s no wonder most dogs loathe the Fourth of July celebrations. Hobo the Wonder Dog suggest the following safety tips for keeping your four-legged family members comfortable and safe during the Fourth of July Holiday.
• Turn on a television or radio louder than normal. Research indicates classical music is calming to dogs. Hobo the Wonder Dog will post links on his Facebook page of his favorite music selections for your convenience.
• Create a special place indoors where your pets feel safe away from doors and windows for a retreat from the festivities.
• Stay with your pet during fireworks and be normal as possible. Your dog will pick up on your feelings of frustrations and a perception of danger that can make their fear intensified.
• Keep windows, curtains and doors closed. If your pet thinks the noises are coming from inside the home, they will try to escape.
• Proper identification on your pet and microchipping can help reunite you with your pet in the event you become separated.
No doubt the Fourth of July holiday is stressful for our pets. Preparation with the above tips will help you and your trusted four-legged friends survive the holiday with the least stress possible. Observe your pets, if they start trembling, hiding, pacing, vocalizing, or being destructive do not scold or coddle them this may aggravate their noise phobia and make things worse. Research studies on desensitizing your dog from loud noises can be effective but usually require at least a sixty-day training program.
Not all dogs are fearless of sounds and will chase cannon-balls shot from a cannon. Remember act normal, do not scold or coddle, plan a head, and you and your pet will find freedom from the noises of the holiday. Two hundred thirty-nine years ago, General William Howe learned a valuable lesson: having your dog properly identified and tagged is your best bet of being reunited with your dog in the event you are separated.
General Charles Lee Second in Command to George Washington, during the Revolution wrote: “I think the strongest proof of a good heart is to love dogs and dislike mankind”.
Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]