Helping Your Pets Get Through The 4th In Butte
Being born and raised in Butte, I honestly don’t know how other cities celebrate the Fourth of July. I hope that everyone uses it as an excuse to gather up the family, burn some food on the barbeque, and just enjoy what we are lucky enough to have in this country.
Growing up I lived for fireworks, rolls of Black Cats, Saturn missile batteries, Roman candles, artillery shells, everything. Also growing up, I had hunting dogs. Bird hunting has always been part of my life. Some of my best memories are at Warm Spring Ponds, or up at Freezeout. So I grew up with dogs that were completely unaffected by explosions, and loud noises.
Fast forward a few years.
I have had 5 dogs over the past 20+ years. In those years, the closest any of them have come to hunting -or shotguns- is probably someone wearing camo. That’s it. All of them are 100% house dogs. From a 7-pound Shih Tzu up to a 180-pound Newfoundland/Poodle cross, all of them would rather slumber on the couch and MAYBE go outside if it isn’t raining, instead of freezing on the ponds.
The downside to their pampered existence is, they have all been terrified of fireworks, every single one of them. Especially the 180-pound knucklehead (below). For the next couple of weeks we will play a lovely game, where we try and assure the dogs that it’s ok to go outside, “See, no explosions, you are fine, go pee.” Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t. They come racing back into the house to find the quietest spot they can.
Some things you can do to help your pets that get traumatized by fireworks include keeping your doors and windows shut, pull the blinds as well.
Leave the TV or stereo on, heck have Alexa put together a nice playlist for your pooches. The sounds/music should be calming, (maybe more John Mayer, and less Pantera?) and be loud enough to camouflage most of the firework noise.
You can also look into a dog anxiety vest, I have always heard them being called a thunder vest. I know a few people who swear by them. It’s kind of like a swaddle for a baby.
Make sure to comfort your pets when they get worked up. If your dogs are like mine, this is damn near impossible NOT to do, since they are sitting in my lap after the first artillery shell. Just give them some love.
Lastly, call a veterinarian now, don’t wait until the 3rd of July. They will help keep your pets safe and sound this 4th of July.