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Keep your pets in mind this Fourth of July weekend

Fireworks are known to cause fear and anxiety for some animals.
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Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 23:41:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Lisa Aznaran has two rescue dogs, and her older one, a 14-year-old Boston Terrier mix, hates fireworks.

"She shakes so badly, she almost becomes paralyzed, runs to the laundry room, that's her safe place, and I turn on the washing machine and the dryer to try and drown out the fireworks,” Aznaran said.

It’s gotten so bad that her dog is aware of the time of day fireworks go off, and doesn’t want to go outside because of them.

“I can no longer walk her past six o’clock because she associates the setting sun with the idea of fireworks. She’ll wiggle out of her leash and her collar and head home no matter what,” she added.

While this pup mom is grateful her dog just darts home, many other dogs will flee away from their houses.

“We always see a huge surge of both people who find a stray and need help right away or people reporting that their own pets have gone missing over this weekend,” Hayley Wolf, Marketing Coordinator at Indy Humane Society said. “This is a really scary weekend for a lot of animals. Even dogs that may not be scared of a lot of other things may be scared of fireworks. They are loud, they are unpredictable, they smell weird.”

Aznaran said she has tried CBD oil and other remedies to calm her dog but nothing has worked.

This year, she is going to try a thundershirt.

The thundershirt is our primary product and it works with 85% of dogs and the basic concept is like swaddling an infant. It helps them feel more secure and safe and calms down,” Bill Hartery, a member of the Pet Anxiety Response Team explained.

The Pet Anxiety Response Team is driving their Thunderbus all across the country passing out thundershirts and other calming products to help dogs that have anxiety.

The team stopped at the Indy Humane Society on Friday to drop off products to help the shelter animals during the Fourth of July festivities.

“We’ll pass them off to foster families if they are picking up animals for the weekend,” Wolf said.

Both the Indy Humane Society and Indianapolis Animal Care Services receive many calls about missing dogs or stray dogs after fireworks shows.

The hope is that the thundershirts will help keep animals safe and in their homes this holiday weekend.

Representatives from Indy Humane and IACS suggest that if you can’t get your hands on any helpful products before fireworks, there are a few things you can do to calm your dog:

  • Keep them at home and in a crate or safe space.
  • Turn on the radio or TV to help drown out the sound of fireworks.
  • Take your dog for a walk early in the day to tire them out.
  • Make sure their microchip is up to date.

If your dog does escape and is microchipped, Roxie Randall, Manager of Community Outreach for IACS recommends you double-check that information.

“The first thing someone should do though if they have lost their pet is to make sure the microchip information is up to date if they are microchipped and then post to Indy Lost Pet Alert. They are a volunteer-run website that is absolutely fantastic and is the first place people look if they find an animal,” Randall said.