Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Many dog owners face challenges with howling, barking, and anxious dogs during fireworks, whether it’s for the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve. Independence Day is often associated with a high number of dogs running away due to fear. But what exactly are dogs afraid of?

Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM, from Woodstown, New Jersey, explains that dogs can be scared of the smell, noise, and flashes of light from fireworks. Dogs may exhibit trembling, shaking, howling, and barking when frightened. If your dog reacts poorly to thunderstorms, they are likely to be scared of fireworks as well. Fortunately, there are ways to help your dog feel more comfortable. Here are nine expert-approved tips to prevent your dog from getting scared during fireworks.

1. Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks

Avoid taking your dog to fireworks shows and keep them indoors during fireworks displays to prevent any adverse reactions.

2. Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper ID

Ensure your pet’s collar information is up to date, microchip your dog, and consider using a GPS device to increase the chances of your pet being returned if they escape.

3. Create a Safe Haven For Your Dog

Prepare a calming environment for your dog in a quiet space away from windows, like a basement or closet. Use a crate if your dog feels safe there and provide familiar toys and treats.

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4. Play White Noise

Use a fan, TV, or radio to mask the sounds of fireworks. Playing calming music like ‘Through a Dog’s Ear’ can help soothe dogs during fireworks, according to Jenn Stanley, a professional dog trainer.

5. Comfort Your Dog

Stay with your dog or have a trusted person comfort them. Maintain a calm and soothing demeanor, petting them gently to provide comfort without adding to their anxiety.

6. Walk Them Before the Fireworks Start

Take your dog for a walk before sunset to avoid exposure to fireworks sounds and ensure they are securely leashed.

7. Desensitize Your Dog to the Sounds of Fireworks

Play sounds of fireworks softly to familiarize your dog with the noises. Use counter-conditioning techniques, gradually increasing volume and variation of sounds.

8. Talk to Your Vet

If your dog’s anxiety is severe, consult your vet for possible medication or alternative solutions like CBD treats or anxiety vests.

9. Consider Hiring a Trainer

If your dog’s fear affects their quality of life, seek the help of a trainer to desensitize them to fireworks gradually.

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Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm During Fireworks