Safety Tips and Calming Tricks for Dogs During Fireworks

Safety Tips and Calming Tricks for Dogs During Fireworks

Is your dog afraid of fireworks?

Do you know how to keep your dog safe during the firework holidays? Our dogs aren’t afraid of the sound of fireworks, but we still take every precaution we can this time of year. We are big on bringing our dogs with us everywhere we go when possible, but during the fourth of July celebrations we will still keep our dogs home, inside, where I know they will be safe.

Happy 4th of July?

We all look forward to the firework shows that come with celebrating our Nations Birthday, 4th of July and even during the Memorial and Labor Day weekend celebrations. The explosions of colors are exciting and beautiful for us, but can be confusing and very scary for your dog.

Dogs get confused and scared when they hear the loud noises of fireworks, so many times they try to get away from the unknown and end up lost. Animal shelters see a huge increase of dogs that have run away due to the loud fireworks. Dogs and fireworks anxiety is a real thing and it’s important for us as dog parents to help our pups through this season on stress.

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Follow these very simple tips and tricks to keep your dog safe during fireworks season:

  1. Keep your dog inside the house. Take your dog outside during the day and tire them out, go for a long walk, go to the dog park, whatever it takes to run out the energy. Don’t leave your dog outside in the backyard unattended. He may dig under the fence or decide to jump the fence to try and get away from the loud fireworks.
  2. Keep your windows and doors closed, not only to reduce the noise but to ensure your dog can not escape. I’ve heard several stories of dogs jumping out windows, even with the screens in tact.
  3. Leave the TV on or play music, even if you aren’t going to be home. This will help drown out the loud noises from outside.
  4. Give your dog a special treat, such as a peanut butter filled kong or a new chew bone to keep him busy.
  5. Make sure your dog has his collar and ID tags on. In the even that your dog does get loose, you want to me sure he can find his way back home.
  6. ThunderShirt for dogs was created to help our dogs feel more comfortable. I’ve heard stories both of success and failure. Every dog is different, so you will have to try different options with your dog to see what he responses best to.
  7. Consider calming products if your dog’s anxiety over fireworks is minor, essential oils, such as lavender and calming oils can help calm your dog.  There are also calming collars available, which uses pheromone technology. The Pheromone is a scent that a mother dog uses with her puppies, and is said to help dogs with anxiety issues. Adaptil makes several options from collars to sprays, to room diffusers.
  8. Not all people foods are safe for our dogs. Alcohol and other foods can be toxic to your dog. Read Can I Feed My Dog People Food?
  9. The day after any firework displays, check your yard for any debris. Even if you don’t personally light any fireworks, the residue can end up in your yard from neighbors and such.

Our first foster dog, Silla, was tremendously afraid of thunder, I’m sure she hates the fireworks too! The first time we had a thunderstorm during the time we had her, she ran under my desk to hide. She was shaking, pacing from room to room, we felt so sorry for her that we just couldn’t do anything to calm her down. I finally just sat next to her, holding her until the storm passed. I know her adopters tried the ThunderShirt with some success. But every dog is different, so you will have to try different options with your dog to see what he responds to best.

Taking your dog outside today…

If you must take your dog outside during the fireworks, use a collar that he can not slip out of. If your dog is scared, he can wiggle and work is way out of a normal flat collar, if it is not super tight. Use a training collar, such as a martingale collar, or prong collar and keep your dog on a short leash. And remember, it’s not just the firework display at 9:30 that is going to scare your dog. It’s your neighbors blowing off the unexpected fireworks that will scare your pup too!

If this is your first 4th of July with your puppy or dog, please be careful. You may think your dog will be okay with the fireworks, but your dog may have a different idea. You don’t want to take the chance of bringing your dog outside to watch the fireworks and then he runs away!

Special day for everyone

Today marks another special day for our household, July 4th was the birthday the shelter gave our adopted dog, Ginger. Now, I’m sure it’s not her real birthday, as she was a dropped off as a stray, so they don’t know her background before 6 months old. But we decided to keep it her birthday as it’s easy to remember! So happy birthday to our USA and Ginger!

P.S. Learn how to read your dogs language to know if he is happy or scared with my Dog Language 101 Book. 

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About the Author Debi@RescueDogs101

Debi McKee is the mom of Ginger and Bear (and three human kids too), lifetime dog lover and a volunteer for a rescue as foster home. She is the creator of Rescue Dogs 101, were she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. Sign up for the free resource library! It is jam-packed with valuable resources that you will use throughout your journey.... all for FREE!

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