Grand Strand vets offer information on keeping animals calm during 4th of July fireworks

Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, but more than likely your four-legged friends aren’t very fond of them.

Some signs of a scared dog are when its ears go back, its body trembles and it hides in the bathtub or crawls under the table.

Scott and Sabrina Blackburn said they were used to seeing all of those signs from one of their dogs.

“He was visibly shaking. He could hear him way off in the distance. Sabrina would get down with him and hold his ears. His breathing and panting would get heavy,” Scott Blackburn said.

The family tried several methods to keep their dog calm, but the only thing that worked was to comfort him during the fireworks display.

“Once they understand that we are there to feed them to love them and protect them, they will calm down,” explained Scott Blackburn.

It’s common in the summer for some dogs to feel anxious, especially when fireworks and thunderstorms are more prevalent. Those loud noises can heighten a dog’s anxiety level.

Dogs hear more than twice as many frequencies as humans, and they can also hear sounds roughly four times further away.

Several Grand Strand veterinarians provided information on how to help your dog before and during the fireworks show:

  • Go for a long walk or hike to help wear out your dog before the fireworks begin. They are less likely to react to fireworks.
  • Give your dog enough time to finish dinner and go to the bathroom before the fireworks to alleviate stressful trips outside.
  • Once the fireworks start, keep your dog occupied with their favorite chew toy. This gives them something else to focus on.
  • Take steps to muffle the noise as much as possible. Plug in a white noise machine or turn on some calming music loud enough so that the fireworks are muffled.
  • Keep animals inside during fireworks shows.

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