If Your Dog Gets Nervous During Fireworks, Try These 7 Tricks This 4th of July

Us humans love a good fireworks display, especially around Independence Day. What an awesome sight it is to watch the sky light up with the beautiful colors and hearing all those pops and crackles!

Unfortunately, our furry friends might not feel the same way. No matter what the breed, dogs can get real nervous around fireworks, causing them to tremble, hide, or just do anything to feel comfort.

We can’t blame them—the noise can be a bit loud, and the sparks are probably frightening to someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on (likely why babies might also freak out at the sight or sound of fireworks).

Don’t fret—you can keep Spot clam during a fireworks show. Here are just a few ways to keep your dog calm and happy when fireworks are going off:

  1. Be prepared.

    If you know you’re heading to a fireworks display with your pup or just watching them from home, make sure you exercise them extra hard throughout the day. Take them to the park, a local lake, or go for a run with them. Hopefully they’ll be just a little too pooped to be scared (AKA sleep through the entire thing).

  2. Create a safe haven.

    If possible, provide a safe place for your dog to go to in the event they do get scared of the fireworks. It doesn’t have to fancy: a cardboard box filled with all their favorite toys, or even just their crate with a few treats inside; anything that’ll make them feel comforted and safe, knowing that when they’re there, they’re at peace.

  3. Be calming.

    If you notice that your dog is getting trembly, soothe them with a calm tone—don’t yell at them for being scared and punish them for it. The dog will likely respond to whatever tone you’re presenting, so if you’re cheery and calm about the fireworks, they may follow suit as well.

  4. Distract them.

    Be sure they have lots of toys, bones, treats, and whatever else they like and will use for a long time. Kong balls filled with peanut butter are one of the best ways to keep a dog distracted and calm. They’ll focus on the sticky stuff while you focus on watching the sky light up!

  5. Block out the noise.

    Obviously you want to be able to hear the fireworks, but if you’re able to put the TV or radio on, or keep the dog in a room where the windows are shut and the curtains are drawn, that can help lessen the shock of the loud noises for them.

  6. Swaddle the dog.

    It may sound a bit extreme to some, but hey, you swaddle your baby for safety, right? And your dog is pretty much your baby as well. There’s this awesome thing called the Thundershirt, which is basically a swaddle for dogs and can also ease the anxieties of a nervous dog. So if you know they get seriously anxious about this kind of thing, it could be worth the investment.

  7. Get expert advice.

    If your dog just really can’t handle fireworks or loud noises as such, see your vet to see if there are any type of puppy medication that can help.

Does your dog get scared of fireworks? What do you do to help ease their anxiety?