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Dogs and Fireworks: 5 Ways to Keep Your Pup Calm (Vet Approved)

Do you know how you can manage your dogs and fireworks? Vets gave us the best tips!

We all know dogs and fireworks are not good friends! And while you may love Independence Day celebrations, your favorite four-legged friends love only part of them.

The fireworks, with their sudden noises and bright lights, are only going to cause your pup to be stressed and scared out of their mind.

Sure, the barbeque and pool party part was fun for the whole family, but once the pyrotechnics are out, the dogs go wild; be it that they howl, bark, or run to hide under the bed, these are just some of the stress- and fear-induced reactions they may have.

Some owners report the dogs becoming aggressive with them due to their fear, and vets and the American Kennel Club warn owners that there is a high chance that their pup may run away during the Independence Day fireworks show!

While the most anxious of the pack end up having to be sedated due to their extreme anxiety during fireworks, there are other ways in which you can minimize the stress for your pup at home!

These are some of the most useful tips and tricks we use with our pups after they have been approved by our vet, and they have worked wonders! Keep on reading to discover them yourself!

Did you know about these tricks before? Have you used them with your pup before? Is there any other tip you want to share with your fellow pet lovers? Share your answers in the comments!

dogs and fireworks
Image By Masarik From Shutterstock

Make a safe area for them!

The easiest way to start managing their anxiety around fireworks is to create a safe space.

A great space to use is one that does not have any windows or glass doors; that way, the dog will not be able to get stratified by the fireworks. Some of the most commonly used spaces are basements and even closets and laundry rooms if they have no windows.

The reason you need to keep them away from glass windows is that they can easily run through them and get injured.

Fill the space with their favorite items, a dog bed, their blanket, a stuffed animal, and their favorite toys.

If your dog is cage-trained or they like their kennel, it may be the best choice for them as well.

Another tip is to try to be at home with them while keeping the lights low in the space. If you cannot be there with them, get someone they trust to stay with them.

Don’t take your dog outside during fireworks.

Sure, in normal settings, the warm weather and social spaces may be the best thing for your pup, especially if they love to be around people. But when it comes to fireworks and anxiety around them, you have to skip this.

It can take years of training, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to make a pup okay to be around fireworks.

If you have to take your dog with you, make sure you have some plans to fall back on in case the worst-case scenario happens; make sure you have a reliable, trusty leash and that they are microchipped.

It can help to add an air tag to them as well so that if they escape your hold and run away, you can get them back.

No matter how chill your dog is, it takes a moment for them to get scared and bolt away.

The best way to be able to help your dog get over this fear is to train them since they are too young to be okay with loud, sudden noises. But this is a lengthy process that will take a lot of tasty, high-value treats, which will take a while to stick.

Most importantly, during the fireworks, you need to stay calm. Even if trained and rewarded, if you’re anxious, your dog will pick up on it, and it can go south from there.

It can also help if you give them a natural anxiety-relief medication that does not require vet prescriptions. This CBD oil has worked for many, and it is worth a try!

dogs and fireworks
Image By Page Light Studios From Shutterstock

Take into account that a long walk, way before the show can help.

A great way to ensure that your dog will not mind the fireworks as much is to make sure they are worn off. If they exude their energy well before the fireworks show, they will be less likely to heed nature’s call.

Going on a long walk or just making sure you played with them numerous times over the day, and by that we mean intense playtime, then you can help them work off their energy come evening.

What’s more, you can also try to keep them occupied and make sure their environment is relaxed and calm. You can even turn on some white noise or soothing music, while you give them a Koong with peanut butter a little before the fireworks start.

The idea with this plan is that you are going to have a tired dog on your hands that is not going to be as reactive to the fireworks.

Some even employ the “popcorn alarm” strategy. They make a bowl of plain popcorn and give some to the pup, and then while the fireworks are going on, the pup is no longer as stressed and will expect to get popcorn as a treat due to the sounds inside.

It is a good strategy to employ if you know your pup is not as reactive as others.

Attempt to distract them with other sounds.

We mentioned white noise and music in the previous point, but it is still a great idea to make use of other sounds to drown out the sound of the fireworks.

This does not mean that you should put on ear-splitting volume music, as this will definitely hurt your pup’s hearing, but rather that you can leave the TV on at a higher volume, the radio, or a white noise machine that can cover the boom of the fireworks.

You can even search for specific pet playlists on Spotify and other streaming platforms; there are playlists with classical music that are known to have a calming effect on both dogs and cats!

A lot of people have found success with these playlists, so much so that their pets slept through fireworks while the music was on since they were already relaxed and feeling safe.

dogs and fireworks
Image By Aleksey Boyko From Shutterstock

Talk to your veterinarian about medication

If your pup (and even your cat, for that matter) is suffering from great anxiety and fireworks are stressing them out a lot, then you can talk to your vet about the medication you can give them.

There are a lot of options that can help lower their anxiety, and there are anti-anxiety medicines for animals that can help them during the 4th of July festivities.

Some vets prescribe a combination of a sedative (like gabapentin) and an anti-anxiety medication for pets (like trazodone). However, you should always ask your vet about what is going to be beneficial for your pet and not try to medicate them by yourself.

If you do get medication, it is good to start giving it to them a couple of days ahead of the fireworks festivities; that way, you can get ahead of the anxiety-inducing events, and you know your pet is going to be calm and relaxed by the first booming sound.

You should wait until the fireworks start to give them any medication since they will be too spooked and frightened to be able to keep it down, and they may even lash out due to fear.

No matter what, make sure you follow the instructions given by your vet when giving any sort of medication to your pets!

Some dogs are more courageous than others, and unfortunately, some breeds are more akin to scardey cats than we would like to think. Check out These 9 Fearful Dog Breeds Get Scared of Their Own Shadow.

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