What usually happens on July 4? Most people celebrate America’s independence. In 1776, America became independent from the United Kingdom. Most people celebrate by meeting with family and friends for partying and barbequing. What goes on after dark? Fireworks and loud noises. What is wrong with that? Nothing if you are not a pet or a vet.
It is fun to watch the beautiful sky light up every year but our furry friends do not enjoy it. Every year many of our pets are traumatized. The veterinarians become prepared each year because this is a time for many pets to be brought in by their owners. Pets are frightened and try to escape from the loud noises. This means that they chew on doors, or force doors open, and even break windows to try and escape the noises. As a result, many are lost, hit by cars, get lacerations, and some end up dying. This is why it is important even if you are not a pet owner to be considerate and not contribute to the noise from the fireworks. If you are a pet owner look for warning signs for noise phobias. These signs may be barking or howling, refusing to eat or drink, excessive drooling, loss of bowel or bladder control, hiding or trying to get forcefully out of the house, and trembling or shaking. This is not fair to these animals because they have no control over this. If you recognize these warning signs, please follow these steps.
- Keep pets at home.
- Make sure they are in a small, safe, familiar place.
- Turn on the television or radio, and close all curtains.
- If you do take your pet with you outside please keep them on a reliable leash or place them in a carrier.
- Keep an updated pet ID on their collar.
- Before fireworks start make sure they use the bathroom. Take them for a walk.
- Keep pets away from flammable material.
- Do not leave your pets in the car if you cannot resist taking them with you to firework displays.
- Don’t add to the noise by setting off your own fireworks when your pets are around.
Please for the sake of the animals, please follow these guidelines to the best of your ability.
Have you ever heard of P.T.S.D? This means Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This mental health diagnosis is an anxiety disorder that people experience after being exposed to a traumatizing situation like physical or sexual assault in any form, a vehicle accident, or a combat experience. It is estimated that 30% of the people population have this debilitating disorder and have been in a war zone experience. Can you imagine how this population is affected by fireworks? It is probably something that you have never thought of like many people. Well, the veterans of war with P.T.S.D are greatly affected by fireworks. The side effects of this diagnosis may include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, depression, isolation, alcohol and/or drug use, emotional numbness, difficult remembering things, suicidal thoughts or self-mutilation, and anger outbursts or rages. When this population is exposed to combat during a war they are exposed to bright flashing lights and loud noises. This is similar to the noise and sound of fireworks. This causes the vets to experience flashbacks to the traumatic event of war. Please be considerate to the vets that help fight for our country and risk their lives by following these courtesy guidelines:
- Don’t add to the fireworks. Go to a public firework display instead.
- If you know any vets in the neighborhood, discuss if fireworks bother them and which kind.
- Tell your neighbors that you will be setting off fireworks at a certain time.
- Set off fireworks at one designated time instead of various times throughout the day.
- Minimize the amount of fireworks that you set off.
There are many reasons not to participate in fireworks each year. Please be courteous to all pets and vets by being proactive in the progression of their treatment.