6 Ways to Soothe Dogs Who Don't like Fireworks on July 4th
Summertime is here! The weather is balmy, the beaches are packed with tourists (we hope not too packed, though. Social distancing is still important), there’s a run on ice cream shops, camping enthusiasts are heading to the great outdoors for some greatly needed respite, and all across the nation, people are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family.
Unfortunately, our panicked furry friends always get caught in the crossfire. It’s no secret that most dogs dislike fireworks. In fact, more American pets go missing on this day than on any other day of the year.
It’s easy to see why.
Fireworks are loud, bright, and smell strange. When these obtrusive explosions and strange smells are paired with the anxious yipping, barking, and howling of other neighborhood dogs, it can be a real sensory overload- especially taking into account dogs’ keen senses of smell and hearing.
Photo via Shutterstock
If this is your puppy’s first 4th of July and you know that they’re afraid of thunderstorms, then they are probably going to be scared of fireworks, too.
Here are a few ways that you can soothe your puppy’s anxiety when the big day comes.
- Create a safe space for them inside the house.
- Choose a room without windows or windows that have noise-cancelling curtains.
- If your pup has a crate, make it comfortable with a soft blanket and their favorite toy. It wouldn’t hurt to put a blanket over the top of it, too.
- Don’t forget to check on your pup from time to time, pet them, and give them a yummy treat to chew on.
- If the fireworks are going to last a few hours, make sure you put a wee wee pad or move your Bark Potty into the safe space you create for your puppy so they have a indoor pet potty to use that feels safe and familiar.
- Play white noise or the radio in the background to set them at ease.
- Take your dog for a potty break before the sun goes down.
- We recommend hemp and CBD treats which will go a long way to de-stressing your pet. A subcription to Greenwell Pet makes it incredibly easy to find pet-friendly CBD and hemp products that are sure to give your pet some peace of mind during this anxiety-inducing day. You can even use the code DL15 to get 15% off your first subscription box!
- Do not take your dog to any 4th of July celebrations during which fireworks are going to be unavoidable- even if they’ll be inside a friend’s house. Bringing your dog into an unfamiliar home is only going to make their anxiety worse. They’ll feel as if they’re being attacked inside of the house as they will be surrounded by even more new smells and sounds. We recommend keeping your dog at home and hiring a sitter that they’re comfortable with.
- Make sure that they’re wearing their collar and that the information in their chip is up-to-date. Just in case.
- If you have the time, you can get your dog used to the noise they’ll hear on the 4th of July by playing the sound of fireworks on a low volume. Do this when they seem to be feeling happy and at ease and for 5-10 minute sessions a few times every day. While playing the sound of fireworks make sure to:
- Decrease the volume at any sign of fear or panic. If they continue reacting fearfully, turn the noise off.
- Play with your puppy, have a fun training session and feed them treats, cuddle with them, etc.
- Continue with your day and don’t make a big deal of it. It’ll show them that there is nothing to fear.
- Increase the volume a few notches at the beginning of every session depending on your dog’s comfort level.
We hope these tips give you and pup the tools to have a wonderful Fourth of July!