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Fourth of July,
Your Pet's Perspective

By Dan S. Defense

You love 4th of July Fireworks and celebrations. But what about your pet? What does your pet feel during 4th of July celebrations, when loud explosions rock their peaceful world and bright lights blind them?

Yes, humans love 4th of July fireworks and celebrations, but your pet may see them in a very different light. Some pets, for example my rescue dogs, are especially affected by loud noise and excitable humans, but regardless of your pet's upbringing or pedigree, you may want to consider 4th of July fireworks and celebrations from a different point of view. Here we'll look at 4th of July celebrations from our pet's perspective. Then we'll offer you, the human, 4th of July advice on how to keep your pet safe and calm, during and after ruckus 4th of July fireworks and celebrations.

Our pets live sheltered lives. We take care of their needs, protect them from danger and shower them with love. Pets get used to a routine, which revolves around you (and feeding time) and they happily settle into it.

But on the 4th of July events take an interesting and somewhat unpleasant turn. During the 4th of July, their humans seem to want to hang around lots of other humans. What used to be a family trip to the park, followed by fun in the sun, turns into a crowed of tall, loud and excited humans. Some notice you, some step on you, some point at you and mumble some gibberish, but for the most part, those noisy and strange humans don't really care about you. You aren't very happy and quite alert, since perceived danger is everywhere!

And then it hits you--BANG! One and then more very loud explosions, bright lights and lots of human screams. Not much fun being a pet in the park during 4th of July fireworks. In fact, it sounds like a pet apocalypse and not something you'd enjoy. And we didn't even talk about the countless pets that get lost in that sea of strangers!

Now for the advice bit and this is where you come in!

If you decide to take your pet with you to see the 4th of July fireworks--before leaving the house make sure your pet's collar is properly secured. Make sure a tag with your current phone number, ideally the cell phone with you, and current home address are all up-to-date and easy to read. Realize that fireworks that are fun for you may be quite scary to most pets. Since you chose to take your pet with you, keep him or her close to you and reassure them often.

Don't let the Fireworks steal every bit of your attention and keep your furry friend engaged. These two simple tips will keep them safe, more relaxed and allow them to get home safely, should they get separated from you in the jubilees of the 4th of July crowed.

If you leave your pet at home on the 4th of July, you can take a few easy steps to make their evening better. Provide a good snack that will keep the pet busy for a while. Leave a TV on some uninteresting and uneventful channel-PBS is a good bet, and PBS talk shows are superb for this task, since there's lots of monotonous dialogs or monologues to keep your pet calm, and it can even lull them to sleep (careful: works on humans too). Alternatively, leave them with soft and louder than usual music.

Not screaming loud music, but loud enough to drown out kids with firecrackers, small time fireworks and other 4th of July festivities. The goal is to insulate them from the holiday and simulate a typical night alone at home. Finally, as insurance policy, and that's a good year round advice, put a sticker next to your door saying "Pet at home ", should a fire breakout, emergency services or good souls know that there's a helpless pet inside the home, thus able to act and attempt rescue. If you have more than one pet, add the total number--just in case.

And with all that said, we wish you and your pet(s) a happy and safe 4th of July!

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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