Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Why I Hate Fireworks

The following post was originally published by Karen on KP’s Dog Blog, July 2007.

 

As a pacifist, I’m not really into explosive sounds that remind me of gunfire or bombs going off, so fireworks don’t do much for me. But this isn’t about me. This is about our canine friends.

This past Sunday, a nearby neighbor started setting off fireworks (in anticipation of Independence Day, I assume), and little foster Chihuahua Sophia got a stricken look on her face. She’s not into loud noises, either, whether from fireworks or thunder. In fact, they terrify her. She was so scared that she followed me from room to room even while I was vacuuming, which is normally another sound that scares her.

I understand that people want to engage in festive activities and that fireworks are exciting and thrilling, but really, they are just a form of entertainment, nothing more. Whereas to wild animals and to our canine friends, they sound like the end of the world.

Dogs have been known to run away, breaking through screen doors and even glass windows in the process. Some dogs end up running into the road and getting hit by cars, or they just go missing forever. Animal shelters report an increase in the number of lost animal companions after fireworks events.

I was very pleased to hear California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discouraging Californians from buying fireworks. PETA sent him a letter praising him and suggesting that he go even further by promoting laser and light shows as a humane but equally impressive alternative to fireworks displays. Of course, his main concerns are public safety and the fire hazard of fireworks. But it would be lovely to see fireworks phased out of American culture altogether.

I think the worst ones, from the point of view of dogs, are the ones that neighbors persist in setting off, because they’re SO close by. There’re only a few feet separating your dogs from that ear-splitting noise pollution. So it goes without saying that you should never, ever attempt to take a dog or any animal to a fireworks display just the opposite: Try to shield them from the sound as best you can.

A close cousin to fireworks anxiety is thunderstorm phobia, and many of the same safety principles apply: Make sure Fido is wearing a collar or is micro-chipped just in case he should somehow get out and run off, and never leave him outside. Let him go outside to do his business before the start of the fireworks or the storm, if possible, so that he won’t have to go out during all the scary racket.

Some veterinarians will prescribe heavy-duty medications, such as Valium, Xanax, Buspirone, or Anafranil, but there is a natural supplement (available at any health-food store) called “melatonin” that can be equally effective. Melatonin is a synthetically produced hormone used by humans with insomnia to help them sleep. But in dogs, it can really take the fright out of thunderstorms and calm them right down. The dosage is 6 mg for 100+-lb. dogs; 3 mg for 50-lb. dogs; 1.5 mg for 30-lb. dogs; and 0.5 mg for 10-lb. dogs. A very small percentage of dogs might have the opposite reaction (excitement) when given melatonin, so test it out when there is no sign of a thunderstorm in sight. Another option is the flower essence Rescue Remedy for dogs who have a mild case of anxiety (also available at the health-food store).

Behaviorally, the most important thing that you can do for Fluffy is to avoid “enabling” her, i.e., don’t validate Fluffy’s fears. Contrary to the way we primates operate, if you comfort Fluffy in a sympathetic fashion when she’s fearful, then she’ll feel that she’s right to be scared, and her fears will just get worse and worse with each new thunderstorm or fireworks event. Instead, you should go about your business normally and interact with her in an upbeat and confident manner so that she can see that there’s nothing to be afraid of. You might even give her a new toy beforehand to distract her with. If you can get her to show the slightest sign of calmness, such as wagging her tail, instantly give her a luscious treat to reinforce that behavior.

A few years ago on the Fourth of July, right after I had adopted Sunny and Dexter, I could see that both of them had the potential to become freaked out by noises, so we spent that warm summer evening outside on the deck and I clapped my hands and exclaimed, “Yay!!!” every time we heard an explosion. I am not kidding you. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was insane, but it worked and neither of them has fireworks or thunderstorm phobia to this day.

As for the dog’s immediate environment, muffling the sound of the fireworks or thunder is very helpful. You can close all the windows and either turn on some white noise, such as a fan, or put on some canine-soothing music. With regard to the lightning often accompanying a thunderstorm, some dogs do well if you turn all the lights on to mask it, while other dogs prefer to have their eyes covered. There is even a product called the “Calm Night Pet Hood” that is purported to calm dogs down via sensory deprivation. And many dogs seek out small rooms with no windows to hide in.

And how about this? In response to a question about thunderstorm anxiety, in his June 24, 2008, column, well-known veterinarian Michael Fox suggests, “Wrapping a dog quite tightly in a thin towel or small blanket can do miracles, giving anxious dogs a feeling of security. Cut an old cotton sheet and get your dog used to being wrapped around the torso like a mummy. This action can help many dogs cope with thunderstorms and fireworks.”

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  • Phoebe says:

    I had a bird nest in front of my house. The fireworks from my neighboring community lately scared the parent birds away. I checked yesterday to find 5 beautiful bird eggs left unattended. I am crossing my fingers now that they will come back eventually when the fireworks are long gone. It just bother me that because of human 1-day joy, 5 innocent bird lives are put into danger! :(

  • My kids mommy says:

    I hate fireworks always have & always will. they upset my children (especially my younger one he’s a screamer during confusion). I had a Roman candle back fire on me as a child. They are dangerous unless controlled.

  • Barb in MI says:

    I hate fireworks because I have my windows open in the summer and they wake me up at all hours. My dog is not fearful of them but if she was I would be even more angry, if that is possible. My neighbors tell me their dogs have to be medicated every night because of the fireworks consumers are letting off. This year our stupid Governor needed to please someone so he put into effect a new fireworks law, louder more explosive fireworks are legal. Horrifying. What can me do? Please help. Thankfully I have gone to my township and we have a noise ord. that starts at 10 PM. But I still want this stopped. It is an epidemic.

  • Carl says:

    I’m not trying to hijack this thread, BUT why does everyone here assume that anything “natural” like melantonin is automatically safer than prescription medication? Arsenic,wildfire, and floods are all “natural” and all very,very dangerous.

  • Jesse Dinkin says:

    I agree that personal fireworks are unsafe for both Humans and animals, and should be illeagal. But public fireworks are fine. Just keep your dog inside, or stay with them until they’re over. Public fireworks rarely last more than 30 min anyway.

  • Alex says:

    OMG! What are we going to do without fireworks? How can I stop eating meat? Where am I going to get my calcium from without cow’s milk? How am I gonna get better without alleopathic medicine?

    Some things are just not necessary and we are taught they are indispensable; guess what… they ARE NOT!

    Noise pollution is a much bigger issue than you think (people commenting). Find out about the effects it has had on ecosystems, HUMANS and ANIMALS.

  • linda says:

    I have a friend whose Cairn Terrier went into such a “panic states” when it stormed, that it finally died of a heart attack during a bad storm. Evidence it can be very harmful to some dogs.
    Simple enough – truth is that they (storms, loud noises, fireworks…) are an extreme stressor for dogs, extreme enough to kill some of them, especially if they are a bit older.
    There is a product called a “Thundershirt” sold online, it wraps around the dogs chest with velcro and is supposed to comfort them somehow. There are testimonials – I personally don’t know how well they work.

  • Tink says:

    All this seems to be for dogs, but what about the poor little cats that are scared of fireworks?

  • Chrissy says:

    I kind of disagree with PART of this article- telling us NOT to baby the dog when its scared, when I was really little I was terrified of thunderstorms, and I’d sleep in my parents room during one, Eventually I just grew out of it, My dogs are like my babies and I dont think they need to face their fears alone, However the advice on fireworks- AWESOME!They are a waste of time and money, I get having one professional show but the late night constant shooting noises going off are not healthy. Not for humans or animals! You spend money on them and WHAT good comes from it?

  • Olga says:

    Ok, so ban fireworks, vacuum cleaners, thunderstorms, stop clapping in your house, don’t laugh or cry, DON’T MOVE!

    This is when I think things are taken too far, this article is ridiculous, I am sure dogs can handle a bit of frustration 2 times a year when there are public celebrations.
    Keep your doors closed, why are people leaving everything open during fireworks, I don’t get it?
    Just calm your dog down by petting him and being nice to him.
    Oh yeah, to the author of this article, why were you adding to your dogs fear by VACUUMING during fireworks? Hmm, not very considerate there are you.

  • Ade says:

    I Hate fireworks and my dog hate them too. So when new year or xstmas arrives, we stay togheter in my room and we try to stay calm, i’ve always hated fireworks. but i was wondering .. why if my dog doesn’t hate them ?, why if I have made her be scared of them???
    I am really going to put this ideas in practice, and we’ll be just ok.

    Ade (:

  • MARIA CECILIA GOUVEA WAECHTER says:

    Linving in a Country like Brasil whre there is no respect either for humans or for animals, it is very difficult to have dogs which are affraid of loud noises. I lived in LA for four years and there on occasions like the Fourth of July there locations designated for setting off loud noises (fireworks). I have a ten years old bitch with heart desease. All the prime areas are surrounded by “favelas” which do not respect hours of rest and what is worse, they don’t manufacture fireworks but fabricate home-made bombs. Each soccer match or disputes between them makes my dog suffer and it takes tranquilizers all year round. I REQUEST YOU, FOREIGN PEOPLE, NOT TO CONSIDER “FAVELAS” PART OF THE RIO DE JANEIRO FOLKLORE BECAUISE THEY KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE AND OUR DEAR ANIMALS.

  • Correen says:

    Some of the comments on this blog are just ridiculous. I’m 16 years old and even I have more brain cells than these people.
    Can’t you people just accept the fact fireworks are dangerous? Not only do they scare allot of animals and people -commenting that your pet isn’t scared isn’t exactly relevant, the blog isn’t about every single dog in the world- but fireworks are also very dangerous, so many people get hurt every year by fireworks. I’ve heard countless stories of people thinking it would be funny to hold a firework between their buttocks and light it, people who end up badly burnt or dead. There are stories of children playing with fireworks and ending up dead, or injured. Worse there are the stories I hear round my town often of teenagers who find strapping hamsters, rats, cats onto fireworks and setting them alight!! Can you imagine going that way? The fear as your sent up into the air by a bunch of sick, horrible humans!
    Saying fireworks happen once or twice a year is irrelevant, here in the UK fireworks start a few weeks before bonfire night and finish a few weeks after. WEEKS! The same happens for new year! In America the same goes for independence day.
    People need to stop being so simple minded and think that it’s not just the noise fireworks make that make them ridiculous things to exist. Fireworks also let off high amounts of pollution every year.
    We don’t NEED fireworks in our life’s, so why have them?
    I know I’m only 16, but it seems I’m allot smarter than any of the people hating on this blog! Why don’t you stop surfing around the internet looking for ways to annoy other people and do something more useful with your lives?

  • chander kumar soni says:

    “please avoid fireworks.”

    this is my pleased, kind, and hand-locked request to all.

  • alli says:

    What the hell is wrong with all these angry,bitter people!? This article is about animal safety…This is a very good thing,so many accidents happen from fireworks and storms because of uneducated,non compassionate people. Animals being afraid of storms and fireworks is very common in animals. If people actually knew this and how to help when this happens there would not be so many lost and dead animals. This is a good article,especially for people who are new owners to companion pets. Obviously you never want to make a big deal of the noise to you pet and you want to get them used to loud.sudden noises. If you have a puppy take them outside on a leash and take a metal cookie sheet or pan and throw it quickly onto the sidewalk. Or in your kitchen on the ceramic tile. They will get used to the noises and when a storm happens they wont even wake up. There is also a cd that has all different types of loud noises ie-thunder,lightening,fireworks,etc. Play it in the house and carry on with your typical activity and definately dont make a big deal of the noises to your pet. All my dogs have never cared about storms or fireworks,they dont wake up at night and will still go outside to do there buisness. My one female dog,she didnt like noises but after throwing the pan on the floor many times a day and not reacting to her fear she got over it..
    I think its sad how nasty some people are on here. Think about how that little dog Abbi suffered and died because some stupid ass thought it was harmless and funny to throw a firework in the car. I hope that person is found and gets what they deserve. Sadly the laws are not strict enough about animal cruelty. Rest in peace Abbi..

  • Mary says:

    omg I would never harm my dogs by bringing them in a loud place! I didnt know that dogs could get small shocks from carpet and storms :-(

  • Joe says:

    Hey Skip, can you tell me why you’re behaving like an asshole? Did you bother to read the whole article?? It advises AGAINST drugging up dogs, instead advocating natural herbs like melatonin.

    Also, you live in a state where fireworks are illegal AND have dogs that don’t freak out over them. Try coming to another state with another dog that DOES freak out AT HOME when the neighbors shoot them off all night.

    Stop behaving like a troll and try being y’know, human? Empathetic?

  • Reggie says:

    Years ago I read an article that suggested buying a cassette tape or CD of thunderstorms. You start out playing it on low volume and gradually increase the volume so your dogs get used to the sound and realize it’s not going to hurt them. My dogs seemed to know that this was not a real storm and the recorded thunderstorm did not bother them in the least. However, when a real storm rolled around they were still total basket cases. Maybe I didn’t play the recorded storm long enough. Since they didn’t pay any attention to the recorded storm I didn’t see any point in playing it longer. I played it for several days so who knows. At any rate it didn’t work for my dogs, but maybe it will work for some of you.

  • Sonja Allen says:

    When I was a child we did not have all these noisy fireworks just pretty ones that didn’t make a noise today fireworks are like bombs going off and scare the animals to death I think these sort of fireworks should be banned.

  • pv says:

    I’ve skipped fireworks many years ago when I saw how afraid my dogs were. It pollutes the environment too.

  • lisa says:

    I live near the beach on Cape Cod and we have fireworks like crazy in the summer. This is what we do…I put the air conditioner and the fans on to make noise as well as turn up the t.v. a bit louder, I also give my boy Shadow, a black lab with serious anxiety, “Bach’s Rescue Remedy” stress relief. It’s all natural, you can get it at any health food store, just ask if you can’t find it, also ask for the brochure on it so you can get info on it or look it up on line maybe, can be taken by humans and animals, it’s kind of expensive..about $18.00 for 0.35 fl. oz. but you use a small dropper full under the tongue, just squirt right in, I have no problems, no opening their mouth and it will calm your dog. Between the fans, t.v. and the Bach’s, we get through firework season, as well as thunderstorms, very well. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps.

  • Brielle says:

    My parent’s dog (a golden/aussie mix, we think)has a horrible fear of not only thunderstorms but FIRE. He high-tails it to the basement when the fireplace comes on. We do believe he was abused before we rescued him from a shelter. He’s come a long way (he used to be afraid of rooms with doors), but somehow this seems to be something he just can’t overcome.
    Any suggestions?

  • Laura says:

    As far as the debate between fireworks & the evils of vacuuming, you HAVE to vacuum your carpet ONCE in awhile (which is about how often I do it) so things won’t start growing down there. You don’t HAVE to set off fireworks. I have very sensitive hearing myself so I know, in some small measure at least, how frightened some dogs must feel when they hear them. I live in the South but I wish my Redneck Brethren would find some other way to show their Patriotism (yee-ha!)

  • alaskayorkie says:

    It seems like a lot of the respondents are missing the point. It’s not that KP is anti-American or a killjoy or a prude, she’s obviously looked into the eyes of a dog she loves more than life itself and seen fear she can’t take away. Who in their right minds would not want to do anything in their power to take away that fear?

    I stumbled on this blog off a google search because I, too, have a dog that I love who is terrified of fireworks. It’s 2 in the morning on July 13, and they are still being popped off.

    My dog is amazing. He’s the smartest dog I’ve ever owned. He was the best in our obedience classes. He was the best in our agility classes. He was runner-up in a Pet Idol contest against dozens of amazing animals. His one fault is he’s absolutely terrified of fireworks. I’ve tried all the suggested solutions except drugs, and I can’t solve it. And I’m not inclined to drug him for weeks at a time.

    My point is that KP should be applauded for trying. If her blog can get one of my neighbors to knock it the hell off, then the words aren’t wasted on her critics.

    I guarantee that those of us who are googling the Internet in the wee hours of the night to solve a problem that is breaking our hearts appreciate it.

  • brandie says:

    I’ll admitt- I didn’t read you entire blog for it was mighty long and my attention span is much shorter than the page this blog is on.

    I think sometimes when people post blogs on here, they are nickle and dimeing (sp?). It is as if P.E.T.A is against every single thing this world does. I don’t believe animals should suffer and therefore I have chosen to stop eating meat.

    I don’t believe animals should be tested on.

    And I care a great deal about the enviornment and how is it slowly but surely being destroyed by careless and wasteful humans.

    But fireworks? I understand this fightens animals, but you mentioned that vacuuming scares your dog. So will you stop cleaning simply because this bothers the animal? I think it is aweful that animals run through screen doors or glass because they are so frightened by the noise. But… I don’t agree completely with what your asking. You won’t be able to ban fireworks. I think there are more people in the U.S. that enjoy them than don’t. The thunder won’t stop simply because a wild coyote can’t stand it. Yes you offered another solution but… we shall see how this plays out.

    I don’t wish any type of suffering on any animal whatsoever. I am an animal lover. I think we are all free to speak our mind and can fight for what we believe in but sometimes it just seems people come on this site to rant about anything and everyting they can.

    More power to you though. I never looked at fireworks in this light and will keep an open mind. I looked at fireworks more as a pollutant to our ozone. Sometimes, we have to choose our battles. We can’t just ask the world to stop living and turning simply because we are not pleased. But as I said- I will keep an open mind to this blog.

  • Eric says:

    Soooo… you don’t mind scaring your dog with the vaccuum, but when the neighbors are celebrating a US tradition…. well that’s just too far! Not all dogs are afraid of fireworks. My dog, for one doesn’t seem to mind them. My sister’s dog actually LOVES them! But I guess it’s all about what YOU want. My dog doesn’t like cats. He gets aggressive when they are around. Maybe we should ban all cats, by your reasoning.

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Eric,
    Are you just trying to be contrary? You can’t see the difference between vacuuming and setting off fireworks? There are many things in life that create noise. Some of them are pretty hard to avoid. With a house full of dogs, I actually do feel the need to vacuum so that my home doesn’t become a health hazard, but I keep it to a minimum so as not to upset Sophia too much. She does have the option of going outside or into another part of the house to get away from the vacuum. Fireworks, on the other hand, are completely unnecessary. They serve no purpose other than to entertain and they do cause harm to a percentage of people and animals every year.
    I certainly do mind scaring my dogs with the vacuum or anything else and I try to avoid it as much as possible. Perhaps you have a good constructive suggestion for an alterntive to vacuuming. Please do try to contribute something positive to the discussion. I’m all ears.
    And BTW, I’m very glad that your dog and your sister’s dog like fireworks. That’s excellent.
    KP

  • Mara says:

    A sweet little dog named Abby died this 4th of July. She was killed by fireworks.

    She was sitting in her owner’s car on Trinity Street in Eureka, California. The windows of the car were cracked about 2 inches. Someone came by with a flower firework and threw it inside. The car caught on fire and Abby died from the fumes of the fireworks and the burning interior of the car.

    If you have any information regarding this horrible crime, please call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department at 707-445-7251. The owners are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer(s).

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Mara,
    PETA posted an action alert about this and is also offering a reward. It’s so sad and horrible.
    KP

  • Megan says:

    This may sound ridiculous, and apparently my dog is out of the norm, but it wasn’t the fact that she was scared of the sound at all. She was THRILLED with them. We play with non-toxic bubbles with her, so when we brought out the sparklers, she chased each flying spark around like she does the bubbles and my concern was that she was going to get burned. The fountain fireworks also sparked her interested and she attempted biting and chasing those sparks. I can see the concern for animal safety by preventing injury, but banning the loud, high flying, explosive fireworks does not stop them from being shot off. Living in Albuquerque, NM we have had a ban of these types of fireworks for 10 years due the the extreme fire risks here and complaints of the noise. I haven’t seen a decline in these types of fireworks AT ALL. People are still able to go to the reservations here and purchase the illegals and indeed still shoot the off. In fact, if anything, there has been an increase in the amount of these types of fireworks rather than a decrease with the ban! It seems to appeal to people more now that they are forbidden to do it. There were simply way too many people lighting off these types of fireworks for the police to be able to catch and fine everyone. Unfortunately, banning them and making them illegal does not seem to improve the situation. Animals feed off of our reactions, so as this blog mentioned, “babying” your pet due to their fear only fuels the fire. For whatever reason, my Pit Bull mix has NO fear of the sound, and I fully believe it is b/c I didn’t give her any reaction or become tense when the night of the 4th came around for her to feed off of. If you start giving your pet reasons that the should be scared like holding them tight, or constantly making them stay close to you, or reacting to their ducking and hiding with baby talk or yelling, they are going to think they have a reason to be scared.

  • ty says:

    can i jus ask, are you a man or a woman anonymous?

  • Eve says:

    I’m not entirely certain what those of an opposing view are doing on a “helpinganimals” blog. Google’ing for some sort of canine porn, perhaps? And then posting here in a fit of unrequited frustration?

    On to the task at hand…

    Here in the South, these amateur fireworks shows do not only happen “once, maybe twice, a year”, and I suspect it’s the same elsewhere. The weeks prior and following both July 4th AND New Year’s are AGONY for my small children, my dogs, and my husband and I–WEEKS, wherein everyone is anxious and sleep deprived. The moment fireworks go on sale, I can assure you people are setting them off.

    We respect the noise ordinance. Our dogs do not bark. Our car radios are never at an elevated decibel. We also respect that occasionally other people have NO respect. It happens. We deal with it.

    But upon WEEKS of unrelenting explosions, dogs absolutely TERRIFIED, and a six month old child who can’t take a decent nap because drunken rednecks are apparently reenacting the Revolutionary War with bottle rockets, you can certainly understand why some of us might be a little bit cranky.

    I’m no avid proponent of PETA. I’m an avid proponent of my family, pets included.

    We show our patriotism by flying our flag. ALL year. Fireworks represent nothing except kids losing fingers and eyes.

  • Borislav Trifonov says:

    The only reason that you are bothered by it is because YOU don’t like the fireworks. After all, you have no problems with vacuuming, even though that’s another loud noise that the dog doesn’t like. Talk about a double standard!

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Borislav,
    No, that’s not true. I don’t like the sound of vacuuming, either, mostly because it scares my dogs! I wouldn’t dislike fireworks that much if it weren’t for the fear that they cause to so many millions or billions of animals (including wild ones). That’s my main objection.
    KP

  • Shawn says:

    Did you think to ask your neighbors if they’d mind stopping? Not everyone has dogs that are scared of fireworks. Our dog really enjoys them because it gives him a chance to have everyone out in ‘his’ back yard. We make an event out of it, with grilling, and drinking, and playing fetch with tennis balls, and shoot off fireworks over the course of the night. I know if one of my neighbors came over and said their dog was scared, we’d stop doing them. The fact is, that they’re not just ‘pretty things’. They’re an interesting hobby also. I’m a pacifist also, but I think the concept of fireworks are amazing…

  • alex says:

    “But it would be lovely to see fireworks phased out of American culture altogether”

    and

    “Fireworks, on the other hand, are completely human creations and could be stopped tomorrow. What a wonderful thought!”

    I agree fireworks+some dogs don’t mix but I guess you don’t really understand what the fireworks represent here in the USA.

  • Rachel A says:

    RE: Fireworks, what we really need is a silent firework, and preferably one not based on gunpowder. It’s not just animals that hate them, young children do too. My little nephew was in tears last November 5th… plus, they cause hundreds of human and animal injuries every year. :-/ Yeah, they’re pretty and all, but is it really worth the risk?

  • Yvonne Hildebrandt says:

    i live in germany, in berlin and i ve been to the states and i ve seen a lot sad dog situations there-here in berlin we let our dogs run free, most of the time;the authorities are much more tolerant here,and i know this is difficult in the states, but on the other hand you have much more land and space for outwalks.the point is;the more you hold and tie a dog the more he will get agressive-to crate or medicate a dog is an absolute NO!-Big dogs have big energies.the only way for them to release this energie is playing and running!-small dogs of course too-you must take your dogs out of the city to walk every day, if there is no space in the city! holding a dog is a responsability, like having a kid-especially the big races-and if you cannot take the time you cannot have a dog-
    dogs need water, food, love and healthy walks and they ll be naturally your best loving friend-greetings from overseas.Yvonne

  • kelly says:

    omg the same thing happend to my dog today and now my dog wont move from the bed he hasnt moved since 8:00

  • Anonymous says:

    This type of crap is exactly why people say ‘animal activist’ are extremists with their heads up their collective asses.

    Do you really think anyone cares about your stupid opinions? Well, other than your idiot PETA companions, that is.

    You probably don’t understand where the problem is. Which I would love to blame on you, but I try to not look down on mental disabilities. Let’s just disassemble this line to illustrate the problem.

    “As mere mortals who want to shield our beloved dogs from terror, there’s not a lot we can do to prevent acts of God, such as thunderstorms. Fireworks, on the other hand, are completely human creations and could be stopped tomorrow. What a wonderful thought!”

    You are right that there is nothing that can be done about thunder. Probably the only thing you really get right. But, if there were, I figure you would attempt to do it. No logic is enough to stop one with an irrational cause.

    So let us move on to the so-called reasoning behind the sentence. Correct me if I am wrong, but are fireworks not about 1/1000th as common as thunder in most parts of the world? At least, loud enough fireworks that would be anything more than a car backfiring. Unless you want to ban that, too, which I may understand.

    One would wonder what the point even is for whining about such a thing that only really happens once, maybe twice, a year. Are there no bigger concerns in Animals > People Land than this? Probably about time to disband, then.

    On a side note, I must complement your collective stupidity on it’s actions that were most remotely similar to success. That being, having nude women parade around. I doubt anyone really cared who or why that was done, but it did fuel my faping for a few days. Give my regards to any of your friends or relatives for that.

    Anyway, that’s all I have to say. And this was written in a direct style since I know it will not be posted. Like others of your ideology from the past (enter a certain German), you most likely love to censor those who go against your inane dislogic. Oh well, nothing lost. For some reason I feel sleep will be lost over this. I am sorry for that.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oddly enough, but our dog, who has terrible thunderstorm phobia — is happiest outside in a storm.

    Keep in mind, this is a fenced yard. Inside, she’ll cower in the corner, whine, hide under the bed… but open the front door, and she’ll run out on the front porch as happy as can be, tail wagging, regardless of how loud the thunder and lightning — and just sit and watch.

    Just keep in mind all dogs are different — most are probably worse out in a storm, but some are fine if they know what is going on vs. “the house is shaking”. A covered porch, a good fence, and you sitting there with the dog are required of course. :)

  • Skip says:

    Well, I live in Maine, so personal fireworks are illegal beyond small things like sparklers. This is for safety concerns though, considering we have a large percentage of tree to land cover, etc.

    But I think you’re going way over board to suggest that fireworks are inhumane. My dog is not afraid of thunder, and if people are using anything dangerous, I do the RESPONSIBLE thing and train her to obey my vocal commands and not go near it. The same thing applies to children- its your job to keep them out of harms way. But public firework displays aren’t dangerous at all. Give me a break. Same with parades. My dog loves people, and sirens and things don’t bother her at all. If they bother your dog, then don’t bring your dog to them. Simple as that.

    And medicating your dog is outright stupid. You PETA freaks talk about protecting animals, and you’re saying that drugging up your dog is a good way to handle fear? Why not fill its bowl with whiskey and light up a bowl of marijuana near it too, you moron.

  • martha says:

    thank god I live in mexico but anyways on christmas & new year pleople uses fireworks all night until morning it’s so annoying :S but of course oker & greñas (my 2 dogs) stay with me & remain inside they feel like protected if a human it’s near them :) i think so..

  • hippie says:

    wow that si so sad i dont understand why people dont even think about how can fireing fireworks affect animals. its sad becuase just yesterday i heard some loud fireworks and my cuzins dog got so scared it ran on to the street and it almost got hit by car. i know ur wondering what did i do to help i ran to the dog to get it thats when the car stoped and asked if wvweything was ok….. the moral iof the story is please think about the animals!

  • Brian says:

    Is this really a blog about fireworks being inhumane? Laser Light show?

  • Kaleena says:

    A friend told me a story about being around while a group was throwing firecrackers in the yard. The individual’s dog was outside, and while throwing the firecracker’s, Fido thought they were playing fetch. The dog ran after and caught the firecracker… So sad. :(

  • Emily says:

    Does anyone know if melatonin ok for our kitty friends too?

  • Rhonda says:

    KP-

    I was only kidding about coining the term. It just sounded sounded so official! :-)

    Fortunately, we’ve never had the “bolt and run” problem with our dog. When it rains she refuses to go outside even to do her business. She’ll hold it for a long time! My brother’s dog tries to go out the front door instead of the back. Apparently, he thinks it might not be raining in front of the house!

  • kelly says:

    The key thing is to keep them INDOORS and safe before the noise starts.

    And away from doors that may be opening frequently for visitors etc

    So many dogs just bolt and run, right from the yard or out the door. With terrible consequences.

    This is one night they need to be safely ensconced in a secure room with maybe some “cover up” noise like the radio or TV.

  • Rhonda says:

    KP-
    Did you coin the term “geriatric thunderstorm anxiety”?

    On the flip side, the dog I had as a kid was freaked out by thunder. Then when he got old he lost his hearing and didn’t care anymore!

    My current dog doesn’t seem noise-phobic in most circumstances but she gets very nervous during thunderstorms. (Sorry Jaclyn, but she walked in a parade with my husband and didn’t seem bothered in the least) This makes me wonder if there’s something to the static electricity idea. Thanks for the tip!

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Rhonda!
    Do try the anti-static wipes or putting your dog in the car–and let us know how she does!
    I don’t know if I coined that term or not, but I’m sure I’ve heard of “geriatric separation anxiety”: That’s when some dogs, as they get old, start to feel anxious even when their guardians fall asleep (like that’s a separation too). It’s very sad.
    KP

  • Jaclyn says:

    On the topic of noise… One of the things that bothers me the most is people that bring dogs to parades.

    Parades are for people not for dogs! Leave your dogs at home!

    I understand the intention: The family is camping out on the parade route with chairs and a cooler filled with food and drinks. Family is coming along, why not Fido?

    The trucks passing by, the police sirens, the sound systems, the bands… It’s a lot for my ears, much less a dog’s ears!

    You want family time with your dog? Try the dog park.

  • shannon says:

    Some people will crate their dogs during thunderstorms or when fireworks displays start. What can you or someone else recommend as an alternative, especially since I’m a bit averse to medicating a dog when I don’t feel it’s absolutely necessary.

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