(Updated November 6, 2021)
Many people are excited and looking forward to celebrating the 4th of July holiday. Dogs and young children are not among them. Fireworks are bright, loud, and scary for pets. Have you ever been to a gathering where everyone is having a good time laughing and playing? What happened after someone lit a firework that had a shrill scream or loud, sonic boom? I bet that all the youngsters were crying and the dogs were running around without paying attention to where they were going. I want to help you have a wonderful celebration without your dog being afraid or having to post lost dog posters the next day. So here are 10 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks. (I’m a dog, so I can’t tell you how to keep the youngsters from crying during fireworks, but if I’m not scared and can stay with your little one, they’ll be much happier.)
First Things First
First, make sure your information is up to date on his collar or microchip, just in case he does get away. That way, he can be easily returned to you. Here is an article on 5 things you should buy that will help you get your dog back if he gets lost.
Second, spend time with your dog doing fun activities earlier in the day. Go swimming, play fetch, or chase a frisbee. How about making some frozen watermelon and yogurt treats for your dog to enjoy during the fireworks in his favorite Kong? You can use sparklers at sunset. Most dogs aren’t afraid of them and young children can enjoy them as well.
Third, watch for signs of stress. Dogs show signs of stress in many ways. They may tuck their tail between their legs, pant, drool, whimper, or shake. If your dog hides or paces, let him. Maybe he prefers to cuddle instead, let him enjoy that. He could even become destructive if you aren’t around. Don’t blame your dog and don’t shout at him. Try to keep him safe.
Make Your Dog Feel Safe
1. Close the curtains to cut down on the bright lights.
2. Turn on music, but not louder than you usually play it.
3. Play a game to distract your dog.
4. Fill a Kong with his favorite frozen treat that you made earlier.
5. Put your dog in a crate, if they are used to one, but cover it so it is darker and makes them feel safer.
6. A thunder shirt is a special wrap that surrounds your dog and makes him feel snuggly and safe by applying slight pressure. Your dog may need some time to get used to one, so try it before the holiday arrives.
Chill out Treats
7. Chill-out treats have natural ingredients such as vanilla, lavender extract, and lemon balm with fruits and veggies to keep your dog calm and relaxed. They are available at your favorite pet store and online.
8. Your vet, (oh no, don’t take me to the vet again!) can prescribe drugs that will help your dog with anxiety, but it may take time and experimentation to achieve success. Some of these drugs work by depressing the brain’s activity or by elevating mood. If you have difficulties giving your dog a pill every day, this may not be the best choice. Some medications may need to be given for a period of time to work, so you may not want to medicate your dog for days when he only needs help one night. Use these as a last resort or in cases of severe anxiety.
(Try this before using expensive prescription drugs with possible side effects, and taking your dog to the vet which will stress your dog out, you, and your pocketbook.)
9. CBD oil is also known as cannabidiol oil and is made from hemp. It will not make your dog high. It can help improve anxiety, joint pain, inflammation and allergies, and many more health issues. Learn more about giving CBD to your pet, and what to look for in a reputable company, in this article: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About CBD Oil For Dogs. It is usually given 30-60 minutes before a stressful event. You can buy CBD oil at your pet store or online. Since many companies are now making CBD products, be aware of inferior and added ingredients that could harm your pet. This company has the best CBD in my opinion and it tastes great! (Even my pawrents use CBD to improve their health). I had tried another brand, but I didn’t like them. CBD won’t help your pet if he won’t eat it, so try this out. You even get a 60 day money-back guarantee.
10. Sound therapy uses training to desensitize your dog to loud noises. A vet can assist you in finding a behaviorist, but training will take several months. If you don’t have time for therapy this holiday, you can try this for the New Year celebration. It is best to safely and gradually expose a dog as a puppy to loud noises so that he will not be afraid later on. Dogs Trust has created a sound therapy program that they are providing for free.
So here are 10 ways, from quick and easy do-it-yourself ideas to medication and training that will take time to implement, but will help you keep your dog calm during fireworks. Start with the easy ones, (provided in order of difficulty) and work up to medication if your dog still has anxiety. If you live in a small town as I do, (we don’t have a fireworks display), you can enjoy a fun and quiet evening with your family and pet without the stress, but don’t forget the frozen treats!
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
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Hi, I’m Trixie! I love treats, sleeping, chewing up my toys and I especially like chasing small critters that enter my yard. (Don’t worry, my mom makes sure that I don’t catch any of them.) I was rescued when someone dumped me in the driveway, expecting 10 little puppies. Though my mom had dogs as a kid, she realized there was a lot she didn’t know.
We decided to create this website to help you with issues that you may not be aware of and to share information about the best foods, toys, treats, and places to explore with your fur friend. You’ll learn all about raising your dog to be happy and healthy and we will have some fun along the way!
If you want to find out how my mom makes money from home so she can spend more time with me, just click here.
P.S. This site may contain affiliate links, but know that I only recommend products that I believe in. Since this is a for-profit business, you should assume that any website I refer you to, I may earn money either directly or from an affiliate relationship.