5 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, 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.
Photo by Malin K.
Unfortunately, our panicked furry friends sometimes 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 have a strange smell. When these obtrusive explosions and unfamiliar 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 hearing and smell.
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 dog’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.
Set up an indoor potty spot.
If the fireworks are going to last a few hours, 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.
Try dog-friendly calming products.
Hemp and CBD treats can go a long way when it comes to de-stressing your pet. Bark Potty also sells a Calming Set that includes an interactive toy, calming supplement bar, and an aromatherapy spray to target your dog's anxiety from multiple angles. It's always a good idea to try out different products beforehand to know what gives your pet some peace of mind during this anxiety-inducing day.
Let your dog stay home during the fireworks.
Try 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. Dogs are creatures of habit and bringing them into an unfamiliar home will only add to their anxiety. We recommend keeping your dog at home and hiring a sitter that they’re comfortable with if you know you're going to be away.
Familiarize them with the sound of fireworks.
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!