Quandary: Firework bans and pet safety
Quandary, the old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to all questions about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Email your queries about Summit and the High Country to Quandary@summitdaily.com.
My dog is scared of fireworks, but I keep hearing them go off. Aren’t they illegal in Colorado? Do you have any tips for calming my dog down?
There’s a lot of illegal things in this world that are still surprisingly prevalent, fireworks are just one example. You are correct, fireworks are illegal in Colorado, but not all varieties. Now I don’t know how big of chicken your hound is, but things like sparklers are still legal as are novelty items that don’t leave the ground. The town of Breckenridge cites wheels, ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire in any form as acceptable fireworks, but only between July 3-5. So don’t call the cops on a dad with a sparkler running laps in the yard just because your pup is a baby. On the other side, if you are a dad with sparklers be smart about how you use them and don’t terrorize the neighbor’s dog. There’s a fine balance to be struck. And definitely don’t let your kid — or dog, I suppose — go unsupervised with sparklers. They may be legal, but they can still be dangerous and burn at about 2,000 degrees, plenty hot enough to do some damage.
Currently, Summit County has high fire danger and an unattended sparkler can soon become Smokey the Bear’s worst nightmare — he lacks funding now, so it really is on you to prevent wildfires. If you do decide to light some fuses this holiday, make sure you have water nearby either in a bucket or hose so you can douse spent fireworks or the would-be wildfire you inadvertently started.
Luckily, there is a way for you to enjoy all the pretty colors and booms without ever spending a dime or risking house and home. Keystone will have a display going off on July 3, over Keystone Lake and Breckenridge and Frisco will light up on the Fourth. You can check the Summit Daily’s full roundup online for details on when, where and how to not get towed.
As good of news as that is for humans, it really doesn’t help the pups. The towns spare no expense when putting on their displays so expect a pretty lengthy production with lots of shock and awe, meaning you need to keep a good eye on your dog. If you are leaving the mutt to fend for himself, make sure he has no escape. It sound vicious I know, but it’s better to be a scared dog in your home than a beast on the run. Dogs have a tendency to bolt when they get scared so make sure your doors and windows are secure. Also, treat your dog like a millenial in college and give him a safe space before you head out. You can set up an area with his bed and some favorite toys away from windows so that he isn’t just focused on the great outdoors. Something like a Thunder Shirt might also make your pup feel a little more secure — it’s like the straitjacket of the canine world.
If your pooch just really can’t handle it, you might need to make a visit to the vet for some “doggie downers,” but there are plenty of other options to try first, including pheromone collars, scented candles, white noise and yes, there is even a doggie TV channel. Just in case, you might want to be proactive and make sure your dog’s collar is tightened and his tags have your contact information. You can also check with the Summit County Animal Shelter for information about micro-chipping and where your micro-chip points to — if you’ve moved it needs to be updated, otherwise your pup might be going on an even longer journey than anticipated.
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