1. Create a Safe Haven: Set up a cozy and secure space where your dog can retreat during fireworks. Find a quiet room in your home and make it your dog's private sanctuary. Fill it with their favorite bedding and maybe even toss in a toy and/or a shirt with your scent for extra comfort. Close the windows and draw the curtains to minimize the noise and bright lights from outside. Our dog Sammy HATED fireworks and his safe space was a bathroom in the middle of our house – a room without any windows.
2. Cancel Out the Noise: Moses is not a fan of fireworks at all so we’ve come up with a solution when our neighbor decides it’s time to decorate the sky. We simply cancel out the noise. We close the windows, turn the AC on and play some music. Do you know how music can calm our nerves? Well, it works for our dogs too! Find a playlist of calming tunes, like classical or instrumental music, and play it at a decent volume during fireworks. The soothing music will help drown out the noise and provide a sense of tranquility for your pup. Some streaming platforms even have specially curated playlists, or ones you can make, designed to relax anxious dogs, so take advantage of those! Check out this on Spotify: https://pets.byspotify.com/
3. Tire Them Out: Exercising your dog can help reduce their anxiety about fireworks. A good long afternoon walk or some interactive play helps release energy and lower stress levels. By tiring them out beforehand, you redirect their focus and promote calmness. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, natural mood boosters. While it's not a cure-all, combining exercise with a safe space and calming music can help your dog stay relaxed during fireworks.
4. Consult Your Vet: If your dog's anxiety during fireworks is severe, it may be a good idea to seek guidance from a veterinarian. They can provide personalized advice based on your dog's specific needs. Your vet might suggest anxiety-reducing medications or natural supplements that can help your dog relax during fireworks displays. Remember to always consult a professional before giving your dog any medication or supplements.
5. Stay Calm and Offer Comfort: Dogs are incredibly perceptive and can pick up on our emotions. During fireworks, it's essential for us to remain calm and composed as well. Try not to fuss over your dog too much or shower them with excessive attention, as it might reinforce their anxiety. Instead, maintain a calm demeanor and engage in activities your dog loves, distracting them from the outside noise. Speak to them in soothing tones and offer gentle reassurance to let them know they're safe.
**Bonus Advice: If your dog has a severe reaction to fireworks, or if you have a new rescue and are unsure of how they will react, please make sure your dog is wearing its collar and tags at all times. When we first got Moses, a neighbor set off fireworks during our twilight walk. Moses panicked and got away from us. Thank goodness he ran home, but other dogs aren’t so lucky and get lost. Make sure there is a way to identify your dog, especially during firework season.
As dog lovers, it's our responsibility to ensure our dogs feel safe and protected during fireworks. By following these tips, you can help your dog deal with fireworks and minimize their anxiety. With love, support, and a little planning, your pup can overcome fear and enjoy a more stress-free firework season...so you can too!
Some good advice! I’ve seen enough fireworks in my life that I’d rather stay in and help keep my dogs calm than risk them being scared alone or getting out of the house.
So I go on a room furthest away from where our neighbors set them off with no windows and hang out with them there.