How to Help a Dog Scared by Fireworks

Some people find fireworks awe-inspiring, but dogs can be terrified of them. They are afraid by the noise and sight. Your pets may become frightened by fireworks.

No one needs to be told that nervous dogs are not welcome at fireworks shows. Even dogs in the home may be anxious about fireworks, particularly if their neighbors also set off fireworks. It’s important that you help your dog.

Pet parents may consider using medications in order to deal with these behaviors. The following tips may help to reduce the anxiety of dogs around fireworks.

1. You can use sound training to relieve dog fireworks anxiety

In order to help your dog overcome his fear of fireworks, you can set up regular training sessions all year long. This will allow him time to adjust before events like the Fourth of July and fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve.

Start by playing an extremely low-level fireworks sound (many can be found online for free) while you give your dog small tasty treats. Praise them when they stay calm. Turn off the sound and stop treating your dog.

Continue the procedure, keeping the volume low, and repeating it until the dog is looking at you with anticipation when the sound starts. Check to make sure your dog doesn’t show any signs of fear or anxiety.

In subsequent sessions of training, gradually increase the volume, changing the recording to include different types of fireworks, until the dog starts to associate these noises with praise and treats for displaying a calm attitude. It may help to desensitize the pet.

2. You can try a dog anxiety vest

A snug, supportive garment can help calm your pet’s anxiety about fireworks.

Before fireworks, get your dog used to wearing a compression wrap like an anxiety vest. This will ensure that your pet is comfortable in the item by the actual event.

The ThunderShirt uses a “hugging design” to reduce anxiety caused by dog fireworks.

3. Plan a Workout Before the Fireworks

A long walk, or playing games with friends during the day can help tire out your dog prior to the start of the fireworks.

Plan a fun day that leaves your dog tired and ready to sleep.

4. Plan your meals and potty time early

You should plan your dog’s potty and dinner trips in advance, as fireworks usually start when the sun goes down. It’s not good to have a scared dog who needs a bathroom break, but can’t leave the house.

Allow your dog to digest his food and go potty prior to the loud noises so that he is not forced to do it in a stressful situation.

5. Keep your dog occupied during fireworks

Give your dog a tasty toy to distract him during the fireworks. A good example is a KONG Classic Dog Toy. Fill the toy’s busy parts with your dog’s favorite treats so that they have something to look at during the fireworks.

Give your dog a treat that is frozen, such as a carrot.

Even dogs that are at home may be intimidated by fireworks.

6. The Muffled Noise

The unpredictable booms can make dogs feel threatened and vulnerable.

Using a recording of fireworks throughout the year to counter condition your dog will allow him to learn how to deal with noise. However, if you want to reduce dog anxiety when fireworks are being fired during an event then simply muffle them with another sound.

Turn on a white-noise machine, or play some soothing music so loud that the fireworks will be hidden. You can cover his crate with a blanket, or play sounds and music for your dog if it is their “safe space”. Make sure that your dog is able to leave his crate at any time.

7. Comfort Your Dog

It’s possible that you have heard of the dangers associated with comforting your pet during stressful times. Your dog is genuinely afraid of fireworks, but his reaction to them may be based on this fear. It is often beneficial to provide comfort at this time.

Sitting next to your pet, gently petting and reassuring him with quiet words during frightening events such as fireworks may help calm your dog down and reduce its fear. This will also help him understand that you are his partner, and that you can turn to him when he feels scared.

8. Consider Calming Supplements

You can use calming supplements to support your dog during stressful situations such as fireworks. Calming treats like VetriScience soft chews and Solliquin Solliquins can promote relaxation in your pet without sedation.

A diffuser is another alternative. The following calming remedies can help you and your pet relax in stressful situations.

9. Contact a professional

Find a trainer who can help you both relax and work on your dog’s behavior if it doesn’t change.

Talk to your vet or a board-certified veterinarian behaviorist if your dog is in danger because of fireworks fear.

It is important to remember that the anxiety your dog feels when hearing fireworks comes from a visceral reaction. You will need to take several steps in order for your pet to feel comfortable.