July 1, 2020
Even though the Coronavirus pandemic has limited most community plans throughout Kenosha for Independence Day fireworks this year, dogs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin are likely to be subjected to the fear they feel when those explosions go off regardless.
That is because it is expected that there will be many more backyard parties that employ fireworks this year. As we move into the 4th of July weekend, the Valeri Agency urges all area residents to be cognizant of the genuine fear that man’s best friend experiences at the sound of explosions.
There are a number of steps you can take to diminish the impact. While the rest of us are covering our mouths and noses to prevent the spread of the virus, try to use some of these methods to diminish the impact on your pets:
Tire them out with a vigorous walk or other exercise if you anticipate fireworks (Remember, the 4th is on a Saturday this year. Expect lots of backyard barbecues!). Take an extra long walk or get them out in the country someplace and let them run. Make a visit to the local dog parks, such as Petrifying Springs.
Keep them company. Your dog needs reassurance during fireworks (storms have the same impact on many dogs). Keep them close and speak softly in a reassuring tone. If you have to leave them home when you go out, try to leave a sitter with them. It is a bad idea to bring your dog to a fireworks celebration.
If you must leave them home alone, be sure to have them leashed or secure in the house. More dogs are lost during the Independence Day weekend in America than at any other time. The fear is real – they will jump fences, bolt down streets and run as far and as fast as they can if they are left unleashed. Having your dog microchipped will make it much easier to locate them should they escape to a quieter place. Keep a recent picture handy too.
Explore your options. There are many great veterinarians in the Kenosha and Racine area. Talk to yours about what kind of tranquilizer might help your pet. Sometimes, it will be as simple as some kind of over-the-counter option. Look into a ThunderShirt. These apply warmth and reassuring pressure like when you hold an infant close, according to the manufacturer.
Watch for signs of stress. Different pets will react differently, but you should be able to tell when yours is feeling edgy. These signs include but are not necessarily limited to:
Licking their lips
Secreting excess saliva
Not adhering to training (going potty indoors)
Whale eyes (showing the whites of their eyes)
There are training techniques you can employ to help them through the holiday. This is a year-round training commitment. You can introduce different sounds to your dog gradually in terms of volume and length of exposure. A lot of positive reinforcement with treats and attaboys is a surefire way to help your dog endure the sounds.
A SAFE PLACE
Also, create a safe place for them to go when they are frightened. It could be as simple as a separate room in your house. Or it may be something constructed specifically for them, like a crate. A bed or blanket that they are fond of might tend to make them feel better too.
The Valeri family of agents and other professionals have expertise in a lot of different insurance-related products and services. But our “home families” are like so many of yours in Kenosha and Racine and a number of our employees have beloved pets. We share your love and desire to care for them.
So remember this holiday that the celebrations might not be so dandy for Fido or Rover. We all want to take a break from this pandemic and get outside and enjoy the holiday. But let’s do everything we can to protect and reassure our dogs so they can enjoy it too.