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September 9, 2021

Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks? This Is What You Need to Do

Is your dog afraid of fireworks? The good news is, this is an extremely common problem with canines.

As such, there are many tried and true methods you can use to calm your poor, anxious fur baby. And we’re going to share these with you in the following guide.

Most of these methods involve giving your dog the right kind of attention and comfort. But there are also a lot of simple steps you can take to safeguard against canine firework anxiety.

Plus, this guide will inform you whether it might be time to get your dog some professional help. Read on to learn all about how to calm down a dog during a fireworks display.

1. CBD Dog Treats For Anxiety

Calming treats are a great idea regardless of any other methods you use. That is, the other methods on this list are external measures you can take to make the situation less frightening to your dog. But even when you use these methods, your dog will still react with some amount of fear.

Alternatively, CBD dog treats significantly calm your dog’s fear reactions from the inside. For more information, read this complete guide on giving a dog CBD.

2. Anxiety Vests

Next to calming treats, an anxiety vest is the second-best investment you can make to calm your dog’s fear of fireworks. These are essentially tight blankets that hold your dog snugly for comfort. It feels, to your dog, that he/she is being hugged the entire time the fireworks are going off.

There are products available that are specifically designed for this purpose. But you can also use DIY dog wrapping methods to achieve the same effect.

3. Exercise Your Dog Before Dark

One good thing about your dog’s fear of fireworks is that fireworks are mostly punctual. For starters, fireworks are only allowed on certain holidays in most locations.

Secondly, there will be a few naughty people setting them off during the daylight hours of these holidays. But most of the pyrotechnic action happens after dark and lasts only a few hours.

As such, one trick to prevent your dog from getting spooked is to wear them out before the fireworks start. Give them as much exercise as you can before sunset to drain their energy. Then, they’ll be so drained that they won’t have much energy left for reacting with fear.

4. Keep Your Dog Indoors

Next, you definitely don’t want to let your dog out while the explosions are going off. Also, when the fireworks start, your dog might be too troubled to eat his/her dinner.

So, be sure and feed/potty your dogs before sunset. Then, keep them indoors until the fireworks have mostly subsided, even if they’re normally outdoor dogs. For outdoor dogs/nervous piddlers, you’ll want some potty pads set up and some cleaning supplies on hand.

Another reason to keep your dogs indoors is so that you don’t lose them. Spooked dogs often try to run away. And sometimes they succeed.

5. Drown Out the Noise

Dogs are afraid of thunder and fireworks for the same reasons that children sometimes are. The noises are sudden, unpredictable, and very loud. They inherently sound like a dangerous threat.

Thus, it can help if you drown out the noise with something more gentle. You can turn on calming music or white noise loud enough to at least muffle the explosions of the fireworks outside.

6. Cuddle With Your Dog

Since your dog is with you inside, keep close to him/her. Reassure your dog with pets, hugs, and calming words during the fireworks. This will also keep your dog distracted with happy things.

7. Keep Your Dog Busy During Fireworks

Speaking of keeping your dog distracted, playing with them can help, too. This is especially true of restless dogs.

If your dog keeps pacing nervously, give him/her something better to do. Toss their favorite toy or play tug of war with them.

On the other hand, this method is not for every dog. If it seems your scared dog just wants to lay and cower, they probably won’t respond to your attempts to play. For these dogs, cuddling is the better option.

8. Speak to Your Vet

If you try all these methods but your dog is still extremely troubled by fireworks, he/she probably needs professional help. Take your dog to the vet to get expert, personalized instructions on how to help your dog.

In extreme cases, your vet may prescribe medication that can help your dog. Feel free to get a second opinion, though, before giving your dog any such drugs. 

Additionally, your vet might know some other methods/products for calming your dog that you haven’t tried. There are perhaps even some dietary changes that can make your dog less nervous. In any case, your vet can help you when other methods fail.

9. Relocate

This tip we put last on the list because it’s so extreme. But, technically, it is an option.

As we said, fireworks are limited in most locations. In others, they’re not allowed at all.

Conversely, you may live in an area where fireworks are allowed year-round. If so, this is an extremely poor environment for a dog who’s afraid of fireworks.

It’s not right for your dog to live where they experience constant anxiety. For your dog’s sake, consider relocating to a fireworks-free environment if you are able.

Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks?

If you’ve got a dog afraid of fireworks, keep this guide bookmarked for reference. Then, use these tips any time you need to calm your anxious fur baby.

Want some more great tips like these? For related reading, check out this guide on how to calm a stressed-out dog.