Most dogs are extremely afraid of fireworks. Fireworks not only cause your dog stress and anxiety but can result in them running away and becoming lost. While you may not be able to completely eliminate the presence of fireworks, you can take steps to keep a dog calm and safe during fireworks with the following tips.
You want to make sure your dog gets a lot of exercise during the day. If you know there will be fireworks in your area at night or it’s a special holiday (4th of July, New Year's Eve, etc.) take your dog on a long walk, have a good play session to wear them out during the day. Taking this one simple step can help keep your dog calm during holiday fireworks or even help your pup sleep right through the celebration.
Keep your dog inside once it gets dark, the sound and site of fireworks is extremely frightening to dogs. This is the safest place for your dog during the festivities to minimize their exposure and help lessen stress and anxiety. Ideally, it will comfort your pup if you stay home with them or make sure they have some type of human companionship to help keep them calm during the fireworks.
Provide a safe space for your dog to retreat to like a crate. Crates are perfect because your dog will feel safest when they’re enclosed, or move their bed to a quiet space with their favorite toys and blankets to provide something familiar and comforting.
Try to keep windows and curtains closed to help reduce the visual and sound stimulation. If your dog can’t see the fireworks and the noise level is reduced, your dog will be much happier. Closed windows can also eliminate stress caused by fireworks happening further away by blocking the sound completely.
Provide a fun and distracting toy. A toy such as a Kong with peanut butter, treat dispensing puzzle toy or an activity mat is the perfect way to keep your dog distracted and calm during fireworks.
Have the TV or radio on. Your dog is probably already used to hearing the TV or music playing so it shouldn’t cause stress and it can help block out the unfamiliar and scary sound of fireworks. You can even use TV as a distraction by streaming dog-friendly shows designed to calm and relax dogs through a provider like DOGTV.
Consider an anxiety-reducing product. If your dog is easily stressed, consider also using an anxiety-reducing product to keep them calm during fireworks. You can try CBD to help your dog with fireworks anxiety, click here to learn more! An anxiety vest, such as Thundershirt, is a great drug-free option. Plugging in a calming pheromone adapter is another good option to help keep your dog calm.
Don’t forget, dogs are at high risk of running away when they are afraid! It is always a good idea to get a dog microchipped and wearing a collar with ID tags and ideally, a GPS tracker in case the worst happens and your dog runs away. Keep your doors closed during fireworks in case your dog gets spooked and bolts out.
Now you know how to keep your dog calm during fireworks! Let us know if these tips work for you.