The Fourth of July may be a festive time for humans, but the same cannot be said with our furry friends. With the shooting of fireworks outside, dogs may feel anxious and frantic. They may bark, howl, and tremble out of fear of the endless loud noises and flashing lights.
Fortunately, you can help your dog through this tough time. With the following tips and tricks, you can minimize and manage the stress levels of your dog from fireworks.
Why Are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks?
Dogs, like humans, also fear the sight of different things. Your dog may be scared of fireworks for several reasons. Loud noises or flashes of light during fireworks displays can startle them, while the smell of firecrackers can make your dog feel uncomfortable and have a difficult time breathing. Once your pets are exposed to these elements, they may show signs of fear. When your dog is afraid, it may howl, bark, shake, and tremble.
To gauge their level of fear, you can look out for your puppy’s reactions during thunderstorms. If they do not cope well with the sound of thunder, they are less likely to adjust to fireworks.
How To Calm Dogs During Fireworks
While the Independence Day festivities are unavoidable, you can make your dog feel comfortable throughout the event. These simple actions can help your dog calm down during fireworks on the fourth of July.
Keep Your Dog Away from Firecrackers
One way to prevent your dogs from experiencing fireworks-induced anxiety is by keeping them away from firework shows near your area. During this time, it’s best to avoid leaving your dog outside. Instead, you can keep them indoors where they can be safe.
Walk Your Dog During the Day
To avoid fireworks at night, you can walk your dog before sunset. This way, your dog is safe and sound inside your home once the festivities begin. It’s best to secure them on a leash while walking for additional safety. This helps to keep your dog under control. Make sure to double-check their collar or harness before going out.
Make Your Dog Easily Identifiable
In case your dog gets lost, you can have your dog microchipped with a GPS device. With an updated microchip, you can easily track your dog’s location. In addition to this, make sure to update the information on your dog’s collar so other people can identify them much more easily.
Create a Safe Hiding Space for Your Dog
Before the fireworks begin, you can create a safe space for your dogs inside your home. The key is to provide them with a calm and quiet area to get away from the noises and flashes outside. Here are some ideas that you can try for your dog’s hiding spot:
- Find a place away from the windows, such as your basement, a larger closet, or space below your table.
- Use a crate if your dog feels safer there. Instead of locking it, you can simply cover and leave it open.
- Make sure to place a blanket near your dog’s hiding spot for comfort.
- To distract them from the noise outside, you can put their favorite toys and treats in their hiding spot.
Avoid Confining Them in One Room
While it may seem easier to lock your dog in one place, it may be counterproductive to do so. Doing this may only cause additional stress and anxiety to your dog. Instead, you can provide them with multiple hiding spots so they can come and go as they like and choose the area where they feel safe and comfortable.
Distract Your Dog with Music
To mask the loud bangs from fireworks, you can try playing music for your dogs. Leaving your fan or TV on creates white noise that can drown out the noises from outside. Moreover, classical music helps soothe your dog’s distress.
Draw Your Curtains and Cover Your Windows
Loud sounds, lights, and flashes can make your dog feel uneasy. You can close your curtains and windows to muffle the sounds coming from outside. This keeps your dogs from seeing the bright fireworks. Keeping your bright lights indoors also helps lessen the impact of the flashing lights from the firecrackers during the festivities.
Keep Your House’s Escape Routes Closed
To ensure your dog remains indoors, you can temporarily shut the doors and windows inside your house. It’s important to make sure that your dog cannot access any routes that lead outside or other dangerous areas inside your home. For example, if you have a garden, it’s best to secure the passages that your dog can run into.
Comfort Your Dog in a Calm Manner
While the fireworks are booming outside, you can stay indoors with your dogs. It’s best to remain calm and act naturally around your pets as the festivities are going on. This way, you lessen the anxiety levels of your dog since they see that the fireworks don’t affect you. You can talk to them in an even, soothing tone to calm their nerves and pet them with long, firm strokes.
Desensitize Your Dogs to the Sound of Fireworks
You can help your dog cope with fireworks in the long run by letting them get used to their loud sounds. You can slowly begin the process by playing different sounds at lower volumes, noticeable enough but not cause them to panic. Once you see them get used to it, progressively increase the volume and play various fireworks sounds to help familiarize them with the loud sounds. This exercise can ease your dog into hearing firework sounds and gradually lower their fear and anxiety.
Reach Out to Your Vet
If your dog’s anxiety towards fireworks is severe, it’s best to consult your veterinarian. They can provide medication to soothe your dog’s condition. This can come with a behavioral management plan to help your dog in the long run.
Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable This Fourth of July
The roaring fireworks during Independence day can be stressful for your dog. Fortunately, you can help your dog cope by keeping them away from fireworks, providing them a safe space to hide, and calmly comforting them.
For more dog health tips and advice, you can visit our website.