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Why More Dogs Run Away on July 4th Weekend

Published On: Jul 04 2013 04:24:30 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 04 2013 06:13:16 PM EDT



 Fireworks are fun for most people, but they're downright scary for dogs.   Because of that more dogs run away on July 4th weekend than other times of year.

"Fireworks cause problems for dogs," said Denise Hayes, CEO of the Roanoke Valley SPCA.  

Dogs don't know what fireworks are and they have much better hearing than humans. 

"What sounds like a few neighborhoods away to us sounds like in the next room to the dogs so it really does scare them," said Hayes.

Fireworks can scare them so much dogs can do things you might not expect. "Dogs when they get scared have amazing abilities to climb fences and go under fences  and get away,," said Hayes. "A dog who is scared can run three to five miles a day."

Hayes recommends keeping your dog inside after dusk during the July 4th weekend.  She said it's important not to leave your dog in the backyard.

More dogs end up in shelters on the July 4th holiday weekend, according to Hayes.  "There's about a 30 percent increase in animals coming into your local shelters over the 4th of July holiday," Hayes said.

Keeping Your Dog Calm

Walk your dog early in the day to wear him/her out.

 Let your dog out for a bathroom break before sunset so the dog won't have to go out during the fireworks.

Don't soothe your dog or punish your dog. This will only make the problem worse. 

Stay calm and authoritative.

Distract your dog with a favorite toy, a game of catch inside or a treat.

Keep your dog inside.

If you must go out,  keep your dog with you and on a leash.

If your dog does become lost know what to do.  Click here for what to do if your dog becomes lost.