Love Your Dog? Love fireworks too? Here’s an answer…

The mystery of why one single firecracker going off four blocks away should send a normally calm and settled dog into spasms of hysterical terror, mindless running in circles, rushing out into traffic, pulling madly on the leash in intersections – this mystery has been with us for centuries.

We don’t know exactly why it happens, but we do know it is a regular seasonal problem. Their superior hearing may be the reason, or it may be some atavistic response buried deep in their doggy genes from far-off eras before the human race even arrived on this planet.

There may be a few people out there with dogs who are trained successfully to ignore the blast of fireworks. Certainly, watching “working” dogs or horses enduring the most amazing kinds of noise demonstrates the ability of trainers to patiently bring these animals past such natural obstacles.

However, for most of us pet lovers, the problem of July 1st or 4th, New Year’s Eve, Hallowe’en, and other celebration events is an ongoing annual problem. Families often let off a few fireworks in their own yards and it takes only one firecracker to send many a dog racing madly into the street, endangering itself and those driving by as well.

As in so many situations, the public tend to want to ignore this problem which seems to have no answer. Yet we have more and more dogs in our homes and no plan whatever for their protection in the event of fireworks.

By sheer good luck I found an answer.

I own a small air cleaning unit. This model has several levels of noise, ranging from Quiet to Turbo. The loudest one, Turbo, is terrifically loud white noise. I also have a small “white noise” unit which I bought years ago to help me get peace and sleep when I lived in an apartment building.

If I suspect fireworks will be happening on a certain day, I set up the two machines. The air cleaner, the bigger of the two, with the Turbo setting, I place on the floor near the dog’s bed in my bedroom. The small white noise machine I place at the other side of the room, so the dog’s bed is situated between the two units.

I shut the dog in the bedroom with the white noise set at the highest setting, having shut the windows in the room first. Then I shut the front and back doors to the house and all the windows, to reduce the general sound of the explosives going off.

I also put the TV on in the bedroom, perhaps a music channel, something soothing, and the volume is set pretty high.

It may all make a huge amount of noise, but the white noise itself overwhelms everything, so the overall effect does not seem too loud. That’s because of the white noise, which has this effect on the human ear, and, it appears, the canine ear as well. The result is: ONE CALM DOG!!



About gentlenurse

Blogging is not only a pleasure, it is a basic necessity...I don't know how I have lived so much of my life without a blog. It gives me a place to write, a motivation to write, lots of reasons for reading lots of mind-expanding and challenging books, plenty to think about and be happy about. It has become a centerpiece of my retirement life along with my friends and pets, my faith and my afterlife journeys.
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One Response to Love Your Dog? Love fireworks too? Here’s an answer…

  1. thanks for this be aware to dog owners blog. our little Cheri used to try and block out the fire cracker noise by sitting in the bathtub…her idea. it’s possible the metal bathtub reduced the vibrations of the explosive objects. in San Diego as well as Roswell NM the natives start letting them off way ahead of July 4rth.
    In Roswell, my kids were visiting with Maggie their dog. we put her in the back yard, on 4rth of July and she dug under the fence and shot off to a park that we’d taken her to that day about 3 miles away. we searched for hours to find her that night. finally she made her way back home to us somehow, even though it was a new location, she had some kind of radar in her head.
    I do think it could be like race memory, from being shot? maybe..but seems more logical that there are vibrations in the air passing through our bodies…and because the hearing is more sensitive in the dog, that they are effected adversely from these intense vibrations. Cheri used to actually quiver and shake all over her whole body.
    if you love your dog, it makes you hate these kind of activities that effect them so, but looks like you found a solution for yourself.
    Sheri is losing her hearing, so she won’t hear anything this year, I hope.

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