Independence Day is fast approaching! That means BBQ’s with the family, celebrating at the beach, and of course, 4th of July fireworks. While this day is a wonderful day of celebrating freedom with friends, it can be stressful for our dogs at night once the fireworks come out. Today we will be talking about 5 different ways you help your dog during fireworks.
Why Dogs Are Afraid of Fireworks
Many people are afraid of fireworks, so it’s easy to see why dogs have severe reactions to them as well.
The unpredictability and intensity of the noise are the main reasons why your dog freaks out. Their fight or flight response kicks in so it is common to see them bark at the noise, pace back and forth, and run and hide.
For some dogs the fear of fireworks is so intense that they destroy property out of anxiety or can have uncontrollable bathroom accidents.
Though we can’t stop everyone in town from shooting off fireworks, we can take proper steps to ensure our dog is as comfortable as possible until they stop.
How to Help Your Dog
There are multiple different things you can do to help your dog during fireworks this 4th of July.
Below are 5 different things you can try to help calm your dog’s anxiety.
Dog TV can be a great distraction for dogs during the 4th of July.
There are dozens of different videos on YouTube made specifically for dogs. Each video is about 6-8 hours long, so you don’t have to worry about it ending while you’re out.
Archie’s favorite video is the one with the ducks hanging out by the stream.
Cali’s has to be the farm animals, but since Archie is afraid of horses, he usually barks at the TV for the entire video. At least they’re distracted!
If you’re leaving your dog alone during the fireworks this year, make sure they have a safe space to stay in while you’re gone.
For many dogs, their crate is their safe space, so make sure it’s nice and cozy and easy to access.
For dogs that don’t like crates, locking them into a crate will only make their anxiety worse. Instead, put them in a dark room (the less windows the better) with some soothing music and blankets.
Making the room dark helps with your dog’s overstimulation from the fireworks and the music can help block out any remaining sound.
If your dog tends to have accidents when they’re scared, you might want to keep that in mind when picking a room to leave them in. (Don’t leave them in the bedroom if you know they’ll pee on your bed, etc.)
CBD and hemp products are another great way to help your dog during fireworks.
I’ve used Furrolandia’s Hemp Chews (affiliate link) in the past for Cali and they seem to calm her during fireworks and thunderstorms.
These soft chews are also popular for helping dogs with aggressive behavior and reducing hyperactivity in public spaces.
With over 6000 5 star reviews on Amazon, you can see for yourself how this has helped thousands of dogs with their anxiety.
Another way to distract your dog during fireworks is by giving them a new toy or mental game to work on while you’re gone.
One good idea is to fill up a kong toy with peanut butter and freeze it the night before the fireworks.
This way your dog’s brain is more focused on the toy instead of the loud noises.
Cali will usually completely shred a new toy during a firework show, which is her way of handling stress.
We give Archie a squeaky toy and he’s so obsessed with squeaking he doesn’t even hear the fireworks.
For Dogs with Serious Anxiety
For dogs that suffer from serious anxiety problems, you may want to consider taking them to a vet for anxiety medication.
Your vet will be able to determine the right medication for your dog that you can give them before they start to panic.
My dogs don’t take prescription anxiety medication, but my vet said to give Cali some Benadryl to make her drowsy so she sleeps through the fireworks.
I hope this article gave you some helpful tips on how to help your dog during fireworks this year.
The 4th of July is always a stressful time for our fur babies. But with the proper planning you can make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible until it’s over.
How do you help your dog’s anxiety during the 4th of July? Let me know in the comments!