The Fourth of July is a fabulous time for celebration, fun with friends and family, and, of course, the classic picnic foods. However, while you are busy enjoying yourself and watching the bright shimmering lights as they burst overhead, your otherwise pampered pooch will likely be found shaking in the corner.
Dogs are notoriously afraid of fireworks, which is entirely understandable considering that they are not a common occurrence in most areas of the country and they often produce large booming sounds that wreak havoc on the sensitive ears of our pets. Remember also, that many personal injury attorneys work with dog bite victims after an animal became frightened. Scared pets are far more likely to act aggressively.
We would first like to point out that fireworks cannot be purchased or used legally in the State of Florida without a special permit. Therefore, homeowners are strongly encouraged to leave the spectacle of lights to the pros. This will also limit the amount of exposure your dog is subjected to.
While you may think little of your furry friend’s fears, they can be quite serious and a smart pet owner will take time to prepare the animal for the festivities of the evening. Many dogs will actually run away on the Fourth of July. This is a common occurrence, so be sure, first and foremost, that your dog is safely contained. This could mean being inside, away from the noise of the fireworks or within the gated yard, alongside those enjoying the picnic and bonfire.
Many will actually choose to evacuate pets, which isn’t a bad choice at all. In fact, the professionals suggest that you ask a loved one or pet shelter to watch your pup if your home is in close proximity to a fireworks show.
While the change of scenery may be somewhat stressful, it likely has less of a bearing on the dog than the repeated blasts of light and sound that he would otherwise witness. There are facilities in and around the St. Petersburg area that can board animals overnight.
If your dog is going to be at your side during the light show, then be sure that he is properly leashed and secured. This will ensure that he doesn’t run away. It also means that you can keep him close and offer some comfort.
It is also highly suggested that, whenever you are entertaining at your Saint Petersburg home, ask your guests to stay at arm’s length from your dog, especially if the dog is highly susceptible to stress. This sort of occasion will be unfamiliar and, as mentioned above, an anxious pup can quickly become an overzealous guard dog.
When you are going away to a fireworks show and leaving your dog behind, understand that there could be others in your area setting off firecrackers and mortars. These could terrify your pet, especially with you being away. It might be wise to tire the dog out with an extra long walk and then keep him in a kennel or contained in a single room until you return. Otherwise, you may come home to a mess as dogs are most likely to act out when nervous.
If there is an incident with your dog and someone is injured, be sure that you contact an attorney immediately. If you have done your part to keep the dog tethered and warned guests to refrain from petting or feeding the animal, then the courts may determine that you carry only a small degree of negligence or no responsibility at all.