Dogs and Fireworks: 7 Tips to Help Calm Your Pup [+ 4 Must-Dos]

Dogs and Fireworks: 7 Tips to Help Calm Your Pup [+ 4 Must-Dos]

Celebrating America’s birthday or the start of a new year are joyous occasions for many Americans. People typically love to host a gathering with friends and family to celebrate the event with food, laughter and…yikes…fireworks. While everyone is celebrating, clinking their glasses of wine or champagne, Fido is under the bed, shaking uncontrollably. Dogs and fireworks have always been enemies. But sometimes the relationship can be terrifying and even dangerous for your furry companion.

Aside from the emotional stress your pet may endure during a fireworks celebration, many are also so terrified that they run away from home. According to animal control officials in the United States, there’s a 30% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th. July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters. And worse, 30-60% of lost pets are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owners, said Mark Jakubczak, Certified Pet Detective and Founder, PetAmberAlert™

We want to make sure you keep your pup safe this July 4th, and other holidays where fireworks are present. In this post, we’ll provide 7 tips on how to keep your pup calm as well as important to-dos that you may want to check off your list before the big holiday.

7 Tips to Keep Your Pup Calm and Safe During Fireworks

Many dogs experience heightened anxiety during the loud pops and booms of the fireworks celebration just outside your door. Here are some ways you can make sure your Chihuahua stays calm and safe during the noise.

Chihuahua at home

  1. Finish all Business Before Dusk. If you normally take your dogs on walks at night, you might want to change your routine slightly to avoid the peak hours of fireworks fun. Try to take your dog to finish his business or get his exercise in earlier.
  2. Exercise Your Dog. Taking your dog for a long walk or run has more benefits that just health. Walks are great for helping your dog’s mood ­– the exercise is great, but the smells and being with you really make their tail wag. Toys, puzzles and social activities also equal happy dogs. It will also lower their blood pressure and keep them calmer.
  3. Keep Your Dog Inside. Make preparations to keep your pup indoors during the times when fireworks will be going off. This lessens the chance that your pup will escape your backyard. Keep your windows closed and distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or radio on with calming sounds.
  4. Comfort Your Dog. It’s important to make your pets feel safe. Ideally, you should have a trusted friend or family member stay with your pet if you’re going to be away. But if that’s not possible, keep your dog where he’s most comfortable. Try leaving a shirt that smells like you in his kennel. Create a “safe space”. Use natural calming products or anxiety wraps to lessen their stress.
  5. Stay Calm. Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog may tend to pick up on you or your family’s cues. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog.
  6. Do Not Scold Your Dog. Remember, it isn’t your pet’s fault that they’re afraid of the loud noise. Be compassionate and don’t yell at your pup if they’re barking or acting differently. Scolding your pet will only cause more distress.
  7. Avoid Fireworks Displays. You might be tempted to take your best friend to a fireworks show. Even if you think your dog is immune to the noise, keep in mind that some dogs don’t outwardly display their fear. You could be causing your pup more stress by having them so close to the noise. And there’s more risk that they will run away – don’t risk it.

Important To-Dos Before the Firework Celebrations Begin

Even if you’re going to follow each tip given on this post, there might be a chance your pup will be outside during a fireworks extravaganza in your community. After all, many people tend to start the celebrations days or even weeks early and you may not be able to change your dog’s routine for that long. Keep these tips in mind before the holiday starts.

Woman holding chihuahua pet outdoors

  1. Secure Your Fences. If you leave your pup outside at any time, it’s important to secure your fence to make sure your pup hasn’t left an escape route. Check for holes, wide spaces and unlinked chains.
  2. Refill Anxiety Medications. If your dog is prone to anxiety and has already been prescribed medication by your veterinarian, make sure you have a good supply at home.
  3. Update Pet ID Tags. It’s important to verify that the information on your dog’s tag is up-to-date. If you don’t have an ID tag attached to your dog’s collar, it’s time to get one!
  4. Microchip Your Dog. Make sure the information on your pet’s microchip is up-to-date. If you haven’t microchipped your pet, consider making an appointment with your vet. It’s a low-cost way of ensuring your dog is brought back to you safely, should they run away or get lost. Most chips cost $40 to $50 and it is a relatively easy procedure.

Final Thoughts

Loud noises can wreak havoc on pets. But with a bit of preparation, you can lessen the anxiety your pet can feel during times of these celebrations. You want what’s best for your furry companion and by following some or all of the tips in this post, you can help make this 4th of July a bit more bearable for your pets. Dogs and fireworks may never get along. But they may be able to tolerate each other, with your help.

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