Did you know that more pets run away on July 4th than any other day of the year? 30% of canines are lost each year from July 4-6. The loud noise from fireworks may cause your dog to become hyper vigilant. For a better understanding of your dog’s behavior and how to comfort them on this July 4th here are a few facts on the psychology of dogs:
1. Insight: Psychologists at Emory University’s Canine Cognitive Neuroscience Lab recently set out to understand canine brain function in comparison to humans. Researchers found similarities in the structure-function relationship in animal brains and human brains suggesting that dogs also have emotions that are similar to ours.
Safety Tip: Observe the moods and actions of your dog to know if they are getting restless. The signs are usually yawning a lot, getting stiff, chewing, scratching, shivering and hiding.
2. Insight:MRIs of the canine brain indicate that dogs experience positive emotions similar to that of a human child. Among other things, crowds with unfamiliar humans may trigger overwhelming or negative feelings in a dog’s brain.
Safety Tip: If you decide on taking your dog outdoors, make sure their collar or harness is tight enough and they are on leash. Hold onto the collar/harness just in case they try to run away.
3. Insight: MRI testing has shown that a canine brain reacts similarly to sounds of joy and pain in much the same way as a human, meaning that dogs are able to understand the differences in human vocal intonations and the meanings behind them.
Safety Tip: Provide a safe space for your dog to stay. Keep your dog indoors, if possible. It provides them a sense of comfort and familiar surroundings will help them calm down.
4. Insight: Dogs also learn from human emotions. A dog can translate their owner’s emotions and behaviors to the object a person is looking at. Thus, your dog may be more likely to interact with a toy that you have already interacted with positively.
Safety Tip: Keep the fireworks, charcoals, sparklers away from your curious canines. Instead, provide toys filled with peanut butter or a bone to keep them distracted for a long time.