Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion - Hear. What you hear is not what they

Dogs hear about four times the dis­tance of a hu­man with nor­mal hear­ing. Cats’ ears are uniquely de­signed to draw sound into the ear canal, which en­ables them to hear sounds like a mouse rustling in the brush 30 feet away.

Their re­ac­tion to loud mu­sic and ex­ces­sive noise is an in­stinc­tive act of self-pro­tec­tion.

Imag­ine wear­ing a hear­ing aid on full vol­ume in front of a heavy metal band.

It is cruel to ex­pose an­i­mals to loud noises such as fire­works. The noise they hear is so ter­ri­fy­ing that they may go tem­po­rar­ily crazy.

They are of­ten so badly af­fected that they run to es­cape the tor­ture and be­come hope­lessly lost. More dogs and cats go miss­ing dur­ing fire­works dis­plays than at any other time.

Fire­works are not suit­able for res­i­den­tial ar­eas for fire risk, per­sonal injury and for the sake of pets. In any event massed fire­works are much more ef­fec­tive, so take your fire­works to the park and make a big dis­play with ev­ery­one else. Leave pets safe at home in a quiet res­i­den­tial area.

They do not want to watch fire­works. All that they are aware of is a ter­ri­fy­ing, in­sanely high-pitched noise which their brains are not able to cope with.

Here are a few point­ers to make the fire­works sea­son if not a happy time for your pet, then at least less ter­ri­fy­ing Se­cure all fences, gates and doors. Keep your dog on a leash if you have to take it out of the yard.

If the dog or cat is a very bad case, ask your vet for calm­ing med­i­ca­tion and fol­low the pre­scrip­tion pre­cisely.

Don’t get cross with your dog or cat for be­ing scared, it will only make him more fright­ened.

Ig­nore the noises your­self and don’t try to soothe your fright­ened dog. He may get the im­pres­sion that there is some­thing to fear and it may even re­ward him for be­ing scared. He may also think you are the only per­son who can soothe the fears and then he may panic if you are not around the next time he hears fire­works.

When he re­laxes, pet him and give him a treat such as a small dog bis­cuit.

If your pet is so fright­ened that he can­not re­lax, put him in a quiet, fa­mil­iar room, cur­tains and door closed, with his own bed or at least his blan­ket to bur­row in. If he is to be in the room for more than an hour, give him wa­ter and make sure he has a toi­let break im­me­di­ately be­fore and im­me­di­ately af­ter. Don’t for­get, he is ter­ri­fied and may make a mess. It’s not his fault.

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