Most of us enjoy a good fireworks display. Similarly, most of us love dogs.
However, dogs do not like fireworks, not even Catherine Wheels. As such, we have to ask ourselves whether our enjoyment of fireworks is worth the suffering of countless dogs.
But until the things are outlawed, the least we can do is try and care for dogs during big national celebrations – which is exactly what a group of volunteers in the US are doing this 4 July.
Volunteers will be comforting canines this 4 July. Credit: MCACC
Independence Day, much like Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, is celebrated with huge firework displays across the country, which unsurprisingly terrify dogs, who have no idea why or how there is so much sudden loud banging.
The day is particularly distressing for shelter dogs, who aren’t afforded the same comfort as most pets. Fortunately, a group of Good Samaritans in Phoenix, Arizona, will be forgoing the festivities enjoyed by most, instead spending time in local shelters comforting petrified pooches.
‘Calming the Canines’ was started by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), and last year, more than 300 people showed up at their two shelters.
Fireworks can cause dogs severe anxiety. Credit: PA
Ben Swan, the shelter’s development director, said in a press release: “It was overwhelming to see how the community responded.
“It really helped spread our message that MCACC is here to help.”
Naturally, when 300 people spend a day with a bunch of adorable doggos in need of love, they end up having their hearts won too, meaning the benefits of ‘Calming the Canines’ extended beyond 4 July.
The MCACC said: “Many participants developed lasting relationships with the shelter, returning to provide foster care, adopt a pet or volunteer.”
Amy Engel – who attended Calming the Canines last year and intends to take part this year too – described the event as ‘so, so awesome’.
It’s important to take steps to look after your dog on days like 4 July. Credit: PA
Speaking to The Dodo, she said: “Some people sang to them, some people read to them, some people just sat there and gave treats.
“It was so, so awesome because the dogs absolutely love the attention and were focused on the people and not the fireworks going on outside.”
Hats off to the selfless dog lovers doing their bit this year.
As for looking after your own dog on days such as 4 July, it is crucial that you keep them indoors in the most sound proof room possible, away from windows. It can also help to have the TV or radio on at a high volume, to try and mask the banging.
Giving your dog an extra long walk during the day can also help to tire them out, making them less responsive and potentially enabling them to sleep through all the commotion.