Ruff night: Fourth of July fireworks can cause stress, anxiety in dogs

Fourth of July fireworks are a staple of many Independence Day celebrations across the country, but as Americans marvel at the "bombs bursting in air" your four-legged friends could be having a ruff night.

The American Kennel Club reports that more dogs go missing on Fourth of July weekend than any other weekend of the year. Experts say pups who are scared of the bangs and booms that are guaranteed to be heard once nightfall hits should be kept inside and given a safe space.

"If you have a nervous animal make sure you have a safe place set up in your house preferably an interior room or wall, with lots of their favorite blankets and toys and nice soothing music," SPCA Behavior and Enrichment Coordinator Renee Brooks said.

It's also suggested to give your dog toys that will distract it from the outdoor noise. Lots of exercise during the calmer daylight hours could make your dog drowsy come nightfall. 

With an increase in dog adoptions during the pandemic, the Fourth of July will be uncharted waters for many new dog owners. Brooks says a dog's reaction to thunder is a good way to tell how it will react to fireworks.

While stress can be hard to manage for timid dogs, experts believe the best place for your four-legged friend to be during the fireworks is inside and away from crowds.



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