Every year, especially around the 4th of July, plenty of fireworks are used to celebrate. While they might be beautiful, not all dogs like them or feel safe went they hear them. It gives a lot of dogs anxiety and it's actually believed that Independence Day is the day when the highest number of dogs run away.
Why are dogs afraid of fireworks?
- Dogs have a more acute sense of hearing than humans, so loud noises like fireworks are more alarming to them
- While humans tend to expect fireworks around holidays, to dogs, they're unpredictable. It's just another day for them, and loud unfamiliar sounds can feel scary. Plus, they come at different intervals, so it's hard for dogs to get used to them.
- The loud noise and unpredictability trigger dogs' fight-or-flight response - causing them to react by barking or trying to run away from them
Ways to keep your dog safe and calm during fireworks
Stay indoors or take your dog away from the fireworks
Try to stay at home with your dog, as he will feel the most comfortable and safe when you're around. Consider also going somewhere where you know there won't be many fireworks (i.e. camping).
- Distract your dog from the fireworks by having the TV or music on.
- If he comes to you for comfort, make sure to not ignore him. Cuddle with him or try to play with him
Consider getting a pressure vest
Pressure vests (some people call them thunder vests) tend to help dogs feel more secure.
If you know that any of the above won't work on your doggie, consider talking to your veterinarian about medications that can help keep your pooch more calm.
Things to consider
- Make sure your dog has proper ID and that the information is current. If possible, also make sure your dog is microchipped. Even if you stay indoors, something unexpected can happen.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended at home. If you’re going to go out to enjoy the fireworks without him, make sure to find a sitter or leave him with someone you know.
- If you stay at home, make sure to always reward good behavior. If your doggie starts to react less to the noise, give them some yummy treats.
- Never take your dog to a firework display. Even if they haven't displayed any fear towards them, their reaction can be unpredictable.
- Try walking them before sunset, to avoid any fireworks.
- Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains.