Ask Aspen


I’m Aspen, and it is finally my turn to say hi! We all know that there are lots of plants that are bad for pets, but did you know that the 4th of July can be particularly stressful?

Some pets have no problem with the sight and sound of fireworks if they’ve been desensitized — hunting dogs, for example, grow used to the sounds and smells of hunting rifles and gun powder. Most, however, are not used to these things.

Pets experience the world through their senses — nose, eyes, ears. The typical Fourth of July celebration can be overwhelming to them. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.

More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety. Keep a keen eye on your pet during the commotion, and make sure your pet is wearing proper identification.

Arrange to have your pet in a place where there won’t be loud fireworks displays.

Most importantly, don’t think of this in terms of your dog as your child who is missing out on a great, fun time. That’s human guilt. Your dog won’t know what she’s missing. You’re being a good pack leader by not exposing her to a situation that will trigger her flight instinct in a negative way. When the booms and bangs of Independence Day are over, your pet will be grateful to you for having made it a less stressful experience!


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