MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — While many of us celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks, our dogs don't see it as a celebration.
"They don’t (always) like the same things we do and they definitely don’t like fireworks," said Hans Wohlgefahrt, with Manatee County Animal Services.
On the days following July 4, shelters say they are flooded with stray dogs that have run away because of fireworks. Which, Wohlgefahrt says is a big problem for already overcrowded shelters.
"Not only for a dog’s sensitive ears is it terrifying and frightening to them but there’s also a bigger chance that your dog will try to get away," said Wohlgefahrt.
Veterinarians say the loud sound and energy from fireworks cause anxiety for most dogs.
"Try to look for cues of them hiding, coming to you for attention; I’ve seen dogs tear themselves out of crates and chew holes in the wall," said Crystal Berarducci, DVM and co-owner of Braden River and North River Animal Hospitals.
Berarducci says some steps to help your dog stay safe during July 4 are:
- Never take pets to a fireworks display
- Keep pets indoors in a secured area where they can't escape
- Turn on the tv to drown out the sound of fireworks
- Stay with your pet if you can to help keep them calm
- Make sure they are licensed and microchipped in case they do get lost
If your pet suffers from extreme anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action for your dog’s anxiety.