Pet precautions on July 4th

Tuesday, July 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Fireworks can be beautiful, but they can also make your pets a nervous wreck.

Celebrating the 4th can leave pet owners with chewed up furniture and questions about how they can avoid letting fireworks frighten their animals. News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says the sharp noise of fireworks begins well before the 4th - and it can be enough to make otherwise brave dogs cower under the couch.

There is a way to avoid that - and give your dog a little more freedom - to relax on the 4th. On the 4th of July, Christen Vanvlett plans to watch the fireworks, but she'll leave her dog Sophie at home - because she's afraid of the noise. "Yes, She is, she hides in her crate at home.”

And it turns out - no matter how patriotic they appear - many dogs are afraid of the 4th - or at least the noise that goes along with it. Dr Paul Welch, Veterinarian: "On the dog they don't know what is going on, and most of this is confusion on their part."

Dr Welch says every July 5th he gets calls about anxious dogs from stressed out owners. He says no one calls about cats - an indication of something, but he's not sure what. "These are the same dogs that freak out with loud noises, doors slamming and that sort of thing." The dogs that aren't afraid of fireworks - are often the ones that aren't afraid of anything. Several folks seemed surprised that we would even ask the question. But the vet clinics are already having pets boarded to keep them as far away from fireworks as possible.

Some folks call asking for drugs to help keep their pets calm, but the most common is over the counter - Benadryl - the same one used for people. "If you think you're going to have a problem, you want to give it before all the fireworks start going."

The noise can be deafening for people - but for animals, it's not only noisy, it can be frightening. Christen: "She just hides, we have a lab at home and She gets kind of excited."