While the Fourth of July is a celebration for us humans in the United States, some of our dogs may not be too keen on getting into the festivities. Many dogs become anxious and stressed when the fireworks start bursting. Loud noises, flashing lights, one right after another, it can all be a bit too much. To keep your dog calm during the fireworks, try out these 10 helpful tips.
First and foremost, be sure you are calm! Many animals pick up on our non-verbal body language. If you get scared and stressed out, your dog is likely to sense this right away. Instead, be prepared for the night by ensuring you are calm and ready for the noise, so you are not stressing your dog out more.
Try giving your pup lots of extra play time during the day through tugging, chasing, and fetching. A sleepy pooch may not have the energy to be bothered by any noisy fireworks, they may even sleep through them altogether.
Be aware of when fireworks will be set off in your area so you can plan on letting your dog out earlier in the evening. This will avoid having to let them out later and will mean you can keep them safely inside.
Put your dog in a quiet room that can block out a lot of outdoor noise by keeping the windows shut. You can create a temporary hangout spot for your dog by making the room extra inviting. Give him/her lots of treats, their favorite blanket or bed, and toys. You could even give them a brand new toy to help distract them from any scary sounds.
Music and white noise not only help people destress, but they can also help your dog, too. Not sure what type of music would be best to help soothe your dog’s firework fear? Preventative Vet offers some insight into why and what kind of music is best for anxious dogs.
Some dogs may benefit from calming pheromone diffusers. Studies have shown that pheromones can be helpful to relieve general anxiety in dogs, which might be the solution your pooch needs.
Sometimes the bright, flashing lights can be scarier to your dog than the noise! Be sure to keep all your curtains closed in the house where fireworks may be visible to your dog. Remind the humans of the household that they can enjoy the show outside.
They say the key to the heart is through the stomach, and that may be the key to keeping your dog calm, too. Get the peanut butter or other treats that your dog loves ready when the fireworks go off. It will help distract them and give them a little bit of positive reinforcement for staying calm when hearing a loud boom.
Sometimes, the only thing your dog needs is some extra TLC. Try petting your dog and speaking to them softly during the fireworks. Keep in mind that dogs enjoy being pet certain places more than others.
If all fails and your dog is struggling with severe anxiety, speak to your vet. Your vet may be able to determine a specially curated care plan for your dog based on its medical history, breed, or lifestyle.
Each dog is unique and may require one or more methods to keep them calm. Be patient with them and keep an eye on what holds their attention best so you both can have a safe, stress-free Fourth of July!
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