Tug, our York Adopt-A-Pet alum, is a pretty happy guy.
He’s generally in good spirits, always ready for company, a walk around the block, a dip in his much too small pool, a ride in the pick-up or a toss of the ball. Tug’s a laid back guy whose name rhymes with rug for a reason.
Last week we celebrated the first day of summer; the first day of a very noisy stretch of time. You see, Tug doesn’t particularly like thunderstorms. He actually heads for Jay’s lap (and he’s a lapful) when the loud off-key beep and computer-generated voice announces a severe weather alert. When thunder can be heard, Tug can be found curled up on the rug in the bathroom. We only have one bathroom in our house, it’s about eight-by-eight and we have a four-by-four dog which is always interesting.
Actually, the bathroom is a great place to go in a storm; highly recommended by meteorologists. Ours is particularly well suited for shelter purposes as it is in the center of the house without windows. Did I mention Tug is a smart guy?
But summer doesn’t just bring lightening, thunder and rain … summer brings the 4th of July and fireworks. Yep, fireworks; the colorful, noisy tradition that terrifies pets (including Tug) is right around the corner.
Recognizing noise anxiety can be critical for the health and well-being of your dog. The symptoms of noise anxiety range from mild to severe. Here are some things to look out for: shaking, panting and drooling are sure signs of stress; as is hiding somewhere, barking, chewing or licking, pacing, destructive behavior, having accidents in the house and even seizures.
There are options out there to help your pup relax. Consulting your veterinarian is always a good idea. And don’t be afraid to ask other dog owners or Adopt-A-Pet staff what has worked for them.
When the noise hits, remember to stay calm yourself, relax and reassure your pup. Here are a few other things that may help: leaving your dog’s crate or kennel open, covered with blanket to create a dark “safe space,” turning on the television or a sound machine or some good disco tunes to mask the bangs and pops, weighted coats may work, or redirecting your pet; get out a favorite ball play a little fetch, and be sure to provide extra snuggles if your pet comes to you.
York Adopt-A-Pet Kennel Manager Kim Hart says running away to escape the noise is a very common response. During the summer York Adopt-A-Pet sees a huge increase in reports of lost and found pets. While the ka-booms are booming, be sure to keep your dog indoors, and if you have to go out, be sure to use a leash. Dogs on the run are at great risk anytime, but more so when they’re stressed out.
Hart also warns of the danger throwing fireworks poses to pets and people, “Some dogs chase them (fireworks). I know this because a couple of years ago a dog caught one and it exploded in his mouth … they couldn’t save him,” she says sadly.
During fireworks season, Jay waits patiently in his recliner for the night noise to die down, then, he takes Tug on a potty-run. He crosses his fingers things will stay quiet until nightly business has been taken care of, or else Tug just might decide to cross his legs for a while longer, not go and wait it out, which isn’t a healthy choice.
During this, the noisy season, please take into account the effect the storm of fireworks has on your furry friends and neighbors. So be mindful, careful and abide by York City ordinances which allow fireworks sale and use June 28 – July 3rd from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on July 4th from 9 a.m. through midnight, after which Tug will be very thankful the ka-booms are over.