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#1
Old 07-02-2018, 02:04 PM
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Do Fireworks Stress Out Your Pets?

In this thread, some Dopers have said that fireworks are pure hell for their animals. It's a complaint I've read elsewhere, too.

My cat isn't bothered by them at all. We live in a state with "anything goes" fireworks laws, in a town where the cops look the other way. The week before the 4th of July, and on New Year's Eve, my street sounds like a war zone. My cat, Jeff, is completely unfazed. Now thunder, on the other hand....
#2
Old 07-02-2018, 02:08 PM
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They were a big problem for Blackjack. We'd put his thunder shirt on and he'd ride it out with a lot of anxiety. He could tell the difference between fireworks and other loud noises and his arch-enemy thunder, but he couldn't help his reactions.
#3
Old 07-02-2018, 02:10 PM
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Vaya gets a little anxious the first couple loud noises, but once she realizes nothing bad happens and Papa isn't yelling, she pretty much ignores it.
#4
Old 07-02-2018, 02:10 PM
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The last few dogs I've had haven't been bothered by them. I just adopted a new dog in May, though, and I'm anticipating his reaction. He seems to take things in stride, though, so far.
#5
Old 07-02-2018, 02:15 PM
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Our old girl, Grace, freaks out during thunderstorms and fireworks.
She gets up and pants and paces, and can't relax. We dread the 4th of July and New Years eve. because of this.
#6
Old 07-02-2018, 02:19 PM
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Both my little dogs freak out. I have thunder shirts. The Siamese don't give a crap, except they are intrigued by how the dogs are acting. They come to point and laugh, it seems.
#7
Old 07-02-2018, 02:36 PM
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One cat doesn't care, but the other cat is terrified. I'm picking up his annual tranquilizer from the vet today. With that, he'll sleep through most of it.
#8
Old 07-02-2018, 02:37 PM
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Not my current dog, but my previous dog would freak out. When we were in Kabul a car bomb blew out our window. When we took her to the US we had to get her out of DC every 4th.
#9
Old 07-02-2018, 03:23 PM
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One cat is terrified, one is concerned, one is skittish and the last one is oblivious. Wednesday night will be hell.
#10
Old 07-02-2018, 03:24 PM
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My daughter had an English bulldog. One 4th she was with a crowd setting off bottle rockets and other ground to air type fireworks. The dog got away from her and grabbed a lit thing that would shoot multi-colored balls into the air. The dog ran rampant thru the group shooting balls out the side of his mouth. She said it was the craziest thing she ever saw. No one was hurt. The dog suffered a small burn on his jowl. He was a psycho dog in all respects, but more so after that incident. He wasn't afraid of anything. In fact he died jumping off a party barge in the middle of a huge lake. They never found his body after a long search.
#11
Old 07-02-2018, 03:26 PM
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My first horse was terrified of the noise. I spent the first 6 days of July sedating him round the clock, cuz fireworks aren't just for the 4th. My current horse doesn't seem to care.
#12
Old 07-02-2018, 03:43 PM
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My dog hates them. After travelling to a particularly fireworks-heavy location around this time two years ago, my dog was almost too scared to be outdoors for a couple of weeks. He never knew when the fireworks would start up again. He would walk a block, poop, and head right home. He's better now but I hope we don't repeat the experience this year.
#13
Old 07-02-2018, 04:32 PM
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We have two dogs, both mixed shitzus and pomeranian mutts. The older one is 11 and the younger is 4. The older one looses her shit over fireworks, she gets completely terrified. She is also terrified of thunder. The younger one is a bit... touched... and if I could describe her reaction it would be "dur-dur-durrr!" but that's also her reaction to almost everything.
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#14
Old 07-02-2018, 04:43 PM
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My dogs and cat are okay with basic fireworks. We live near enough to the MiLB ballpark that we can see and sometimes hear the display. They are used to that. Front yard fireworks, the kind you buy from the corner fireworks stand are not too troublesome. Close windows and doors and turn TV on...no problem.

This year there is someone in the neighborhood like a block over who is setting off really high powered fireworks. It sounds like an explosion, you can feel it, and hear it, even with the doors and windows shut and the TV on quite loud. These are freaking my pets right out. Georgie, who was in his crate last night, started clawing and pawing and biting at it to get out. I thought he was going to hurt himself. His crate is usually his "safe place".
#15
Old 07-02-2018, 04:59 PM
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The current dogs get excited and bark. My old (dead from old age now) dog used to bark at, get excited and actually chase and try to bite fireworks, no matter how active they might be. He actually came back smoking or breathing smoke more then once! He loved it!
#16
Old 07-02-2018, 05:04 PM
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We will begin sedating our Lab/Pitt Bull mix around 2 PM on Wednesday.
Our Boxer/Pit mix doesn't like them, but doesn't freak out.

Our family used to have a pure breed Lab that we had to start sedating 24 hours prior fireworks.
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#17
Old 07-02-2018, 05:09 PM
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My friend has a Persian cat who shoots hair off at loud noises. She crates him before they start and she says you could make another cat with hair in there.
#18
Old 07-02-2018, 08:02 PM
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The cats are old hands at neighborhood warzone reenactments, and so is elder dog Bear. None of them LIKE it, but are pretty sanguine and at most just end up sitting near me for comfort. The young dog, Shoga, on the other hand, is freaking terrified of them. Last year I had just adopted her on Memorial Day and my old dog Widget was still alive. Shoga seemed to take heart from Widget and was relatively calm but this year not so much. She pants and paces and sticks so close to my leg she's like velcro. The really loud ones make her shake like a paint mixer, poor thing. I've been giving her Benadryl in late afternoon to make it a little easier on her, and I think the cops are finally enforcing the $1000 fine for illegal fireworks because it's been fairly quiet and we've seen a LOT of cops clustering up in areas known for their enthusiastic participation in the goddamned Fallujah cosplay games.
#19
Old 07-02-2018, 11:28 PM
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Both my pets are gone. My cat wasn't stressed by anything; I don't think a nuclear detonation would have gotten a rise out of her. My dog was trained to firearms and the usual firecrackers and things that go bang didn't bother him at all. But those things that make the ripping-cloth noise as they shoot off and explode would make him cringe against a wall for protection and looking at me with that "make it stop" expression he would get sometimes.
#20
Old 07-03-2018, 12:34 PM
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Our much-loved former dog Sadie was terrified of loud bangs and booms, both thunder and fireworks, but came by it honestly -- she carried several shotgun pellets in one hip and her tail the entire time she lived with us. I taught her to play tug during the booms -- not just as a distraction, but because I reasoned that no pack leader worth salt would initiate playtime during a REAL crisis, so I hoped I was communicating "This is no big deal...BO-ring. Hey, let's play tug!"

Current dog Luna is deaf, so we get to cheat the question. Foster dog Ginny is pretty feisty when she hears a dog bark in the distance, but so far she's totally ignored the bangs.
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#21
Old 07-03-2018, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Our much-loved former dog Sadie was terrified of loud bangs and booms, both thunder and fireworks, but came by it honestly -- she carried several shotgun pellets in one hip and her tail the entire time she lived with us.
My fireworks-averse dog has a roughly .177 caliber BB in his foot. He's never been imaged so I don't know if that's the only one. I figure it is probably from an air gun but it could also be a shotgun pellet.
#22
Old 07-03-2018, 12:56 PM
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My dogs donít usually get upset about them, but I live in a townhouse and my neighbor is having a party. Iím sure they will be setting stuff off. The cocker spaniel may get agitated by the voices and bangs, etc. The Shih Tzu wonít care, but if one of them starts, the other gets going.
#23
Old 07-03-2018, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deereman View Post
The current dogs get excited and bark. My old (dead from old age now) dog used to bark at, get excited and actually chase and try to bite fireworks, no matter how active they might be. He actually came back smoking or breathing smoke more then once! He loved it!
Yeah - our old dog (mostly black lab) loved them. She would run around the house from window to window, barking like crazy and driving us mad until we gave in and had to take her out for a walk to watch them. Likewise thunderstorms (apart from the walk bit). And she was also a huge fan of preserved steam railways, and a veteran of quite a few.

j
#24
Old 07-03-2018, 02:32 PM
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Neither of our previous dogs reacted to them badly. Our new one, a six year old rescue, is with us for the first fourth. We'll see. We have pet-sat for a huge Golden who freaked out during thunderstorms.
#25
Old 07-03-2018, 09:48 PM
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not only is my cat not fazed by it he joined me at the window to watch them. Actually he wasn't interested in the fireworks as much as he wanted to play with me. but the noise didn't bother him.
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#26
Old 07-03-2018, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Not my current dog, but my previous dog would freak out. When we were in Kabul a car bomb blew out our window. When we took her to the US we had to get her out of DC every 4th.
Breh, you win the thread!
#27
Old 07-04-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
My daughter had an English bulldog. One 4th she was with a crowd setting off bottle rockets and other ground to air type fireworks. The dog got away from her and grabbed a lit thing that would shoot multi-colored balls into the air. The dog ran rampant thru the group shooting balls out the side of his mouth. She said it was the craziest thing she ever saw. No one was hurt. The dog suffered a small burn on his jowl. He was a psycho dog in all respects, but more so after that incident. He wasn't afraid of anything. In fact he died jumping off a party barge in the middle of a huge lake. They never found his body after a long search.
I saw a dog do this on America's Funniest Videos. The dog grabbed it and was running around when BOOM! A ball of fire shot out of it. He looked at it like he was thinking, "What the heck was that?" Then BOOM! He looked like he was thinking, "Hey, there's another!" BOOM! "Okay, this is weird," but he held onto it and kept going. Funny, yet I couldn't help worrying about him (and the people alternately trying to catch him and getting out of the way as he changed course.)

This is the second Fourth that I've lived with Noir Kitty but I was petsitting my sister's dog and cat last year so I haven't seen him react to them yet. Surprisingly, there hasn't been a lot going off in our neighborhood as yet. What there has been doesn't seem to faze Noir. We'll see what it's like tonight.

Sis's dog and cat were fine with them, even though the big display was just two miles away out in the bay. I was watching them out the window when the dog came up to see what the heck was making all that noise but he seemed totally unimpressed with what he saw.

I used to pet sit a border collie just down the street from my sis. Poor thing was afraid of all kinds of sounds. Small plane not even overhead--better hide until it's gone. Some machine pounding pilings or something waYYY y down on the waterfront--gotta check out my hidey hole. Wind in the chimney--if you need me, I'll be in the basement. I never watched her on the Fourth but could imagine how terrified she must have been. I only hope her owners had some powerful sedatives for her. It would be the only way she'd make it through with her sanity, I think.
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#28
Old 07-04-2018, 08:38 PM
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There were just fireworks a blocks a way, and our animals were more concerned with the pie and ice cream we were eating.
#29
Old 07-04-2018, 10:07 PM
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Fireworks do not bother my cats. One of them is terrified of thunderstorms, though.
#30
Old 07-04-2018, 10:26 PM
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The lower level ones my birds kind of get used to - they deal with a certain amount of ambient neighborhood noise, after all, all year round. But big boomers freak them out. Worst is after the household has gone to sleep, when a boomer sends them into a panic in the dark. Their sleep gets interrupted, and so does mine.

Not going to bother to go to bed before midnight tonight - I have three parrots perched on me looking for reassurance.

Last edited by Broomstick; 07-04-2018 at 10:27 PM.
#31
Old 07-04-2018, 10:57 PM
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I have my son's dog over too--otherwise she'd have been alone in a house, not good. So I have not one, but TWO panicky drooling panting dogs and my floor is fucking awash in saliva. AWASH I SAY. It's horrible and I have a headache and a couple doors down the fuckers have apparently cornered the market in M80s. Just fuck this shit, seriously.
#32
Old 07-04-2018, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
The last few dogs I've had haven't been bothered by them. I just adopted a new dog in May, though, and I'm anticipating his reaction. He seems to take things in stride, though, so far.
So, I heard some booms, not close, but off in the distance. I live in a townhome community, mostly older people with common sense who take pride in the area, so no loud noises around here. Justice (the dog's name. He got it at the shelter, and I haven't bothered to change it.) barely raised his head from his nap and went right back to sleep.
#33
Old 07-05-2018, 04:40 AM
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I'm down to one cat, and when all the noise started, I watched her ears as they kept up with the directions of the fireworks. Then she went upstairs and hid for the duration.
#34
Old 07-05-2018, 06:16 AM
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One dog doesn't like thunder or fireworks, or any loud booms or bangs. She's slowly getting better, but she's definitely not a fan. The other dog couldn't care less. A couple of my cats go hide, the rest don't care at all unless they are really close. And fortunately the horses are also oblivious. A couple of years ago someone nearby set off a HUGE show, with giant colored flares exploding more or less overhead, screamers, window-rattling bangs, the works. My poor dog was freaking out that year, but the horses just grazed away, occasionally looking up like, "Huh, weird."

I lived for several years right next to a State Gamelands and a nearby shooting range, and here in this house the next door neighbors skeet-shoot. The dog still hates the shooting and nearby fireworks, but the horses are well accustomed.
#35
Old 07-05-2018, 07:01 AM
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Our previous GSD freaked out with both thunderstorms and fireworks. The current one appears alert when fireworks go off but otherwise seems okay.
#36
Old 07-05-2018, 08:41 AM
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Prior to yesterday, I would have said yes. In previous years, Peanut (lab-corgi mix) was terrified of all the bangs, and would whimper piteously while running around the house trying to get away from it.

I was amazed, last night, when he sat calmly on the couch while all sorts of booms and cracks were going on outside, and showed barely any reaction at all. He only barked occasionally, in response to a couple of especially loud noises.

I cannot account for the change. Maybe now that he's all of four years old, he's becoming more chill.
#37
Old 07-05-2018, 08:48 AM
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My mom's dog has apparently applied the same standard of interest to fireworks that he does to everything else in his life: He's concluded that they are not other dogs, and they're not made of bacon, and so they're completely irrelevant to him.
#38
Old 07-05-2018, 08:50 AM
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Benny Handsome Goodboy, the 1.5 year old duck toller, didn't like the fireworks but it didn't cause him to totally lose his shit. He was just low grade angry, as if a distant dog was barking.

Mittens Handsome Goodboy, the cat, doesn't care.
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#39
Old 07-05-2018, 08:54 AM
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Neither of our dogs are bothered by them in the slightest. Our youngest is vaguely curious about them, and will occasionally go out into the back yard to see what the noise is all about.
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#40
Old 07-05-2018, 05:15 PM
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My birds are generally cool with them but the cockatiels got a little nervous last night when the big flashy fireworks got going.
#41
Old 07-05-2018, 05:22 PM
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The lab/pit got 3 1/2 tranqs, the boxer/pit got 2 1/2. And and they both needed lot of hugs an reassurances. And occasionally, places to hide.

I hate fireworks.
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#42
Old 07-05-2018, 06:02 PM
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So this year we ended up kenneling our pups at a pet hotel that is adjacent to a veterinary medical clinic. You can't hear a thing inside that building and it's not in a residential neighborhood, so less of chance for fireworks anyway.

We had to be down in the Bay Area at my aunt's for a good part of the day yesterday, and we didn't want to risk not getting home before fireworks, or worse, fireworks going off during the day. We dropped them off Tuesday afternoon and picked them up this morning.

They spent two peaceful nights, even if we felt like we were in a war zone. Money well spent, IMO.
#43
Old 07-05-2018, 07:00 PM
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Calming down pets, hell, try calming down your 87 year old dad with severe dementia, when they are popping that stuff till 3 in the morning. The stuff they got these days has got so much boom, it rattles your windows, and even feels like your walls have been hit with a very large explosive. Damn, I like to never have got him calmed down. I like my rural area right across from a small airport, but always dread July 4th and NY's Eve because they are not allowed to pop them inside the city limits, so we get 'em. They are supposed to have a 10:00 PM time limit, but nobody pays it any mind, including LEO.
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