Each year people bring their dogs to the fireworks display at San Gabriel Park, and each year some dogs become petrified and escape from their owners, often with dire consequences.
One year, a bolting dog from the park ran across University Avenue causing an accident. The dog died. Other dogs have run and kept running, never to be found, much to the chagrin of their well-meaning owners. Many dogs are picked up by animal control officers and taken to the City Animal Shelter, where at least they are safe. However, sometimes these dogs are not reclaimed by owners.
“Why would you want to take your loved animal to a place where you know they are going to be nervous, at best,” says Animal Services Manager Jackie Carey. “Most dogs are scared enough of fireworks in the distance, much less right over their heads.”
In addition to not taking dogs to firework exhibitions, owners should make sure their dogs are secure at home, preferably inside. If your dog has a tendency to become anxious at loud noises, Carey suggests staying home with the animal. Playing music in the house can help to drown out the noise of fireworks. You may also consider buying a product like a Thundershirt, which is a shirt that “hugs” the dog. Your veterinarian also may be able to provide a tranquilizer for the dog.
At the shelter, employees give mild tranquilizers to the dogs on July 4 since the fireworks are launched nearby at the McMaster Fields. This allows the dogs to sleep through the fireworks and minimizes effects from the noise.
For more ideas on keeping your dog safe this holiday, go to Ten Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips at www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/fourth-of-july-pet-safety-tips.