July 4th is usually full of fun for people: hot dogs, hamburgers, beer, parades, the pool, the beach and maybe more beer.
But for the dogs, the fourth is filled with fireworks and fear.
Last night, as I sat down to write this Daily Spike blog entry, I heard the first sounds of summer in the city. It's the crackling, crackling and crackling, pop and pop of improvised fireworks on the roof.
They come from a building about 75 feet away and they are loud
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What do I hear next? The jingle jackle of Spike's collar, as he quickly shoots out of the bedroom, where he had just slumbered a second ago, and flees to his chest to escape the loud noises and to seek refuge in his safe place.
It's a good thing that my friends from Canine Companions for Independence talked about this week's July 4th blog post – we have advice that could use all dog owners.
Dog breeders encourage their puppy breeders to put them out to a variety of experiences, sights and sounds as they are important experiences helping to prepare the dogs for their service. When working as a service animal, they must keep the focus on all distractions.
Part of this is to ensure that a puppy does not develop a negative association with certain sounds, and the celebrations on July 4 pose some challenges, resulting in all the flashing and exploding fireworks, booming Music, Large Crowds, Loud Voices and Laughter
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It is important for every dog owner to anticipate this stress of vacation and plan. Here are a few tips:
- Give the dog lots of exercise during the day, before the evening celebrations. A tired dog will be less responsive to the noise stimulation as soon as the fireworks begin.
- Do not let the dog walk around freely in your yard, even if you have a secure fence. The surprise of sudden noises or fireworks can stimulate the "fight or flight" response, which can cause a panicked puppy to climb a tall fence. When walking outside with a dog, use a leash to prevent it from suddenly breaking loose in response to loud noises.
- Skip the celebration and stay home with the dog. Keep them busy with toys and games so that they have positive interactions and are distracted by the sounds of fireworks.
- Keep the dog indoors with loud noises or firecrackers. Put your box in a room that is best isolated from sound. The box can be covered with a blanket, and a TV or radio can be played to drown out the thundering sounds. If your neighborhood is really loud, you can spend the puppy with friends or family living in a quieter area.
Bear in mind that a dog may develop a sensitivity to sound, which it does not show until several months later. Do not take the risk of having to expose a puppy to fireworks, even if he does not seem to be stressed by lightning and noise. Canine Companions Dogs can show stress in a variety of active ways, including screwing or trembling, as well as passive options such as yawning, licking, and sleeping. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS
Spike and I hope you have a safe and merry Christmas! And we hope that you will contribute to making every day the Independence Day for people with disabilities in our country.
For more information on dog companions for independence and how to get #GiveADogAJob, visit cci.org.