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Summer brings lots of fun adventures, but with it comes a pretty scary one for some dogs – Independence Day. Dogs and fireworks aren’t really a great combination.
Fourth of July fireworks are loud and unpredictable, which can be terrifying for dogs with anxiety. My dog is scared of fireworks, so I’ve done tons of research on how to help ease his fear.
If you have a dog scared of fireworks, read on for helpful tips to help relieve your dog’s stress during fireworks!
Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?
Dogs can be scared of fireworks for many different reasons. I mean, when you think about it, fireworks can be pretty intimidating!
They’re super loud, unpredictable, and often go on for hours during events like Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. Even non-reactive dogs tend to struggle in coping with fireworks.
Fireworks are even worse if you have a reactive dog, like our Rico. They could be triggers to various scary memories.
Even if your dog has lived with you for essentially their entire life, they could still be extremely triggered by such loud noises.
How Can I Keep My Dog Calm During Fireworks?
Wondering how to calm a dog down during fireworks? Creating distractions is a great way to help your dog through scary fireworks.
Playing music seems to help Rico during car rides, so we make sure to have some tunes going when the fireworks begin. He’s especially a fan of John Mayer!
If your dog likes to watch television, DOGTV can be a great solution to how to keep your dog calm during fireworks!
They offer plenty of TV programs geared towards dog interests. It could be enough to distract your dog from the booms happening outside.
Engaging in an activity your dog enjoys is another great tactic. If they’re extremely focused during training sessions, why not break out the treats and teach them a new skill? It’ll keep their attention away from the noise and on you.
Puzzles are also a fantastic way of engaging your dog’s brain and keeping them from stressing out. The mental stimulation keeps them occupied and tires them out both mentally and physically. Here’s a list of our dog favorite puzzles!
How to Calm Down a Dog During Fireworks
When you know fireworks will be occurring soon, stock up on these items below to help make the night as calm and easy as possible for your dog.
Use Lavender Oil to Ease Anxiety
Lavender essential oil is my go-to first step in relieving anxiety for both me and my dogs! It is such a wonderful stress reducer, and can help relax dogs that get a bit worried.
Simply rub a drop of two of the lavender oil along their back to help calm them down. You can mix with coconut oil to make a soothing skin treatment while soothing their stress.
It has the added benefit of making them smell like they’ve had a spa day!
Wrap Them In A Thundershirt to Calm Your Dog
Rico was a stressball when it came to loud noises and fireworks. No big surprise, since we rescued him off a busy street in Puerto Rico.
To help calm him down, we purchased the Thundershirt. It applies gentle pressure to key points on the chest and back, which helps calm many dogs and can relieve their anxiety during storms and fireworks.
Soothe Your Dog with Calming Treats
Treats are always a good distraction, especially ones infused with calming ingredients such as chamomile and melatonin.
Roxy and Rico both like the way this brand tastes, which is important for a picky eater like Rico!
It seems to help take the edge off when they’re starting to get worried about noises. They view it as a treat and are happy to take it!
Give Your Dog CBD Oil to Prevent Stress
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a non-psychoactive oil that’s made from low-THC hemp. It has been wonderful for calming my struggle pup Rico down.
CBD oil has some amazing benefits, which include easing anxiety. It’s perfect for events with fireworks! Also, it doesn’t make your pup high or drugged. To see how it can help your dog, read here.
I definitely recommend stocking up with enough time to recieve it before the holiday. Shop by clicking the button below!
Ways To Prepare Your Dog for Fireworks
With the right tools and a plan in place, you can help make fireworks much less stressful for dogs.
If your dog is crate-trained and feels like their kennel is their safe area, use that to keep them calm and safe. Comfort items like favorite toys of blankets are wonderful for calming dogs during fireworks.
Put them in the crate well before the fireworks start so they’re calm and comfortable. Have a Kong toy filled and ready to go for when the fireworks begin.
The goal is to make it a positive experience for your dog so next time they hear fireworks they’ll be less stressed.
Plan Potty Breaks During Quiet Times
We usually do a potty break well before sunset so they are inside and settled before fireworks begin.
Take your dog out for a nice long walk to tire them out. Tired dogs are happy dogs, and they may even sleep through the commotion from fireworks!
Make sure to keep your dog’s identification tags on them just in case they get spooked and dart off. Boomerang Tags are our favorite since they don’t make lots unnecessary noise and are sturdy and durable!
Keep Your Dog Inside During Fireworks
Without fail, there is always a marked increase in the number of lost dogs following a night of fireworks.
Keep your dog inside during fireworks to keep them safe.
Loud noises such as fireworks can activate fight or flight, leading even dogs that never leave the yard to break loose and flee.
Consider Prescription Medication for Extreme Anxiety
Some dogs are just going to have anxiety no matter what you do to help.
If you have a dog terrified of fireworks and suffering from extreme anxiety, your vet may be able to provide a calming medication for dogs such as Trazodone for them.
It helps take the edge off the extreme stress they may be feeling.