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Your Pet's Trauma on Race Weekends

Help for Getting your Pets through the Trauma of Race Weekends!
By Steven Forman

With the Baja 250, 500, 1000 and many other off-road racing event each year, I thought it might be  appropriate to discuss some of the problems local street dogs and pets face when it comes to extremely fast moving vehicles and loud noise. It’s no secret, of course, that dogs everywhere are scared to death of fireworks and other loud noises, such as race vehicles, ATVs and fireworks.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in dog psych to know that one of the most stressful times for our animals down here is when the community is overrun with race enthusiasts. I’m not all that crazy about it myself, but it’s far more unnerving for our furry friends.

Several years ago, during one of the races, a wonderful female dog was run over by a race vehicle. Her owners thought that she was safe, because she was just hanging out as she always did in front of their house. But a fast moving vehicle ran her over, and fortunately the driver paid all medical expenses and she survived the accident. Quite a trauma though, for her and the owners.

When a race is about to happen down here, it is so important to create a safe haven for your pets, and other animals that hang around your property. Please keep your pets close to home, and inside, if at all possible, Imagine what it’s like for them with all the sudden chaos. Fireworks often go with the weekend festivities, and the loud bangs are extremely traumatic for dogs and cats as well.

This is a great time to really give extra attention to any animals in your life. No matter how hectic it gets, make time for your loyal companions. 

A sure way to lose your dog or cat is to leave them outside during loud weekends in Baja. Mark my words, as soon as the race is over, you’ll see the flyers posted around town, offering rewards for dogs that simply “freaked out” and took off, and are probably still running as I write. So, be smart and take precautions. Whenever you know that fireworks, loud noises, and pandemonium is about to be unleashed in San Felipe, protect your animals.

Here’s a tip: If your animal is the type that gets overly anxious, don’t hesitate to try antianxiety products. Go ahead and sedate them if necessary—let them sleep through the whole weekend. Several sedatives are available over the counter, especially here in Mexico. If you’re going to administer some of your own drugs, remember, less is always better.

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