Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4

A dog and a cat
A dog and a cat (Pexels/stock image)

CNN – Fireworks explode like magnified gunfire in the exquisitely sensitive ears of many of our pets.

Measuring between 150 and 175 decibels, fireworks are louder than gunfire (140 decibels) and even many planes at takeoff (120 decibels). Decibels measures the loudness of a sound while hertz measures the frequency of a sound.

Human ears are damaged at a mere 85 decibels. Yet we can hear to only about 20,000 hertz, while dogs can hear between 45,000 and 65,000 hertz. Just think of the physical and emotional damage that might occur to a dog left outside to face the noise.

Due to Covid-19, animal advocates say this year has been extremely bad for pets with noise phobias. Instead of going people to central locations to watch a huge, orchestrated display, they have been buying fireworks in record numbers, setting them off in the streets next to homes for weeks.

That's expected to explode Saturday, as people use their stash to celebrate the Fourth of July. When frightened, dogs bolt and owners may lose their best friends in the night.

"Dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears," said Temma Martin, the public relations manager for the Best Friends Animal Society, one of the nation's oldest no-kill agencies.

In addition, she said in a statement, "some animal control agencies have their officers working on an 'emergencies-only' basis, which means that they only pick up stray animals who are sick, injured or already contained."

That leaves dogs running loose, to possibly be struck by cars, picked up by strangers, even turned into local animal shelters, many of which are still closed. Anxious pet owners won't likely be able to visit in person to identify and rescue their pet.