Fireworks and pets

Gloria J. Towle, Special to The County
10 months ago

Just a big reminder that Thursday, July 6, is our huge event at the shelter with Jordan’s Way arriving for a three-hour live Facebook fundraiser to benefit our new shelter building fund.

Kris Rotonda and Jordan’s Way will host the event, which will be filled with non-stop challenges and high-energy fun while raising awareness for the animals and much needed money for our organization.

Tune into our Facebook page to watch the fun and consider donating so we can reach our goal. Be sure to like and share.

With the Fourth of July now past and many more summer festivals happening, chances are good that many celebrations will be happening with fireworks.

Remember, dogs’ and cats’ hearing is much more sensitive than ours, so those loud booms can be extremely uncomfortable. Frightened dogs may have different reactions: some tremble at their owners’ feet, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off (traveling for miles), and others display bizarre behavior. There are also times when ordinarily well-behaved pets may become aggressive, destructive and/or unpredictable.

Scolding will scare and confuse the animal, and coddling will reinforce fearful behaviors. Instead, try to distract the dog from the disturbing noises with physical activity such as playing ball. Taking your dog on a very long walk is another way to expend your dog’s excess energy before the fireworks display, and can help put him/her in a calm state.

Indoor-only animals can often become so frightened during fireworks displays that they take desperate measures to escape the noise, such as breaking through window or door screens. For this reason, you must also make certain your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag with current contact information so you can be reunited quickly if your pet does happen to escape.

It’s best to make sure and keep all pets safely confined indoors when people may be inclined to set off fireworks. Having a radio or TV at a normal volume indoors may help to dampen jarring noises. If you are unable to leave your pet at home, then bring a travel kennel for the animal to feel safe in.

While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including arsenic, which can be fatal to animals if ingested. Be sure to keep them out of the animals reach.

Of course, we can’t forget other small animals. If your pets live outside, partly covering cages, pens and aviaries with blankets can help to sound-proof the area. It is important to make sure that your pet is still able to look out though. Also, providing lots of extra bedding can allow your pet to have something to burrow in during the festivities.

Taking the necessary safety precautions can ensure that your animals are safe and comfortable during these summer celebrations.

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check out our Facebook page for animals that are up for adoption. Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.