Humans have tons of exciting reasons to get pumped for the 4th of July. It’s the start of summer, and the best traditions are underway: barbecues, parades, and most of all, firework displays. But while we enjoy celebrating our nation’s birthday with fiery bursts of glory in the sky, our pups are almost never so thrilled. In fact, most dogs become stressed, anxious, and just plain panicked when faced with the loud cracks of firework explosions.
From July 4th–July 6th, the number of lost pets jumps up 30%, and it’s because all that scary stimuli puts pups in flight mode. It’s so important to keep your dog protected and comfortable during all the craziness, and we can help prepare both of you for what’s to come. Here’s what you need to know about getting your pup through the fireworks barrage this July:
First, why are dogs afraid of fireworks?
Create a safe space
Prepare your home
Your house is your dog’s safest place, so be sure to prep for impending firework displays. In addition to drawing curtains to help block out flashes of light, try to keep the radio or TV on to drown out the loud bangs and add a sense of familiarity. You can also place lavender scented items around your home to help soothe—use a spray or gently bruise the leaves and flowers of fresh plants (just keep ’em out of reach!).
Try calming aids
There are a number of products available to help keep dogs calm in frightening situations, and if you have the chance to try a few beforehand it will be a lifesaver to have something you know will work. Calming treats given prior to stressful events can help dogs stay relaxed without sedating them, and all-natural CBD extracts and biscuits have been known to reduce stress, anxiety, and discomfort associated with noise phobias with no side-effects.
Pressure-related calming devices may also be useful, like ThunderShirts, which employ constant, gentle pressure (like swaddling a baby) to help reduce anxiety and over-excitement.
Other precautions to keep in mind:
1. Find out when your neighborhood plans to hold their fireworks display to plan accordingly.
2. Please please please make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag in case they manage to escape, even if they’re microchipped (hey, better to be over-prepared, right?).
3. Beforehand, try to introduce your dog to similar noises slowly (with treats!). This will help reinforce the idea that there is nothing to be frightened of come fireworks night.
Stay safe, calm, and comfortable this 4th of July!