July 4th has come and gone, but like every other year, the fireworks continue to persist and will do so for weeks to come. While this may prove to be a nuisance for residents of suburban neighborhoods, the regular sounds of fireworks drive many dogs and cats to shear panic, in some cases, even to the point that it is a detriment to their health.
This reality is clearly evidenced in the weeks leading up to July 4th and for weeks thereafter, with the barrage of calls clinics receive from clients seeking sedation for their pets that experience severe fireworks anxiety. In response to the explosive noises that many fireworks cause, numerous dogs and cats enter a state of severe and utter panic. Not only is this mentally abusive to these animals, but many will be panicked to the point that they hurt themselves by trying to chew through doors, knock heavy objects or wall unit furniture on top of themselves, and fall from elevations such as decks and terraces, to name a few of the accidents that regularly occur. For animals with cardiopulmonary conditions, such as congestive heart disease, allergic tracheobronchitis, or collapsing trachea, the metabolic stress that fireworks induced panic places on the these patients, can lead to crisis or death. What’s more, for many canine and feline patients that experience fireworks anxiety, the feeling of panic is so severe that even conventional sedatives do little to comfort them.
Now, having been one to enjoy a good homemade fireworks display myself on more than one occasion, I am not trying to be killjoy. If fireworks are legal where you live and you like to celebrate our nation’s independence by blowing off some fireworks, however, I merely ask that you make the effort to do so at a park or other clearing reasonably removed from homes. If this is not convenient or even possible, then at least keep your fireworks activity to July 4th, and ONLY July 4th, thereby sparing pets prolonged mental torment with potential physical consequences.