How to Help Your Dog That’s Afraid of Fireworks


The fourth of July is right around the corner and that means many pet owners will be dealing with anxious dogs due to loud fireworks. While most people look forward to exciting and vibrant firework shows on independence days, loud bangs and bright lights can be scary for pets, especially those prone to anxiety.


Dogs that have reactions to fireworks may quiver, hide, or howl, but running away may be a bigger problem. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, more pets go missing during the July 4th weekend than any other time of the year. Whether you know your dog gets anxious by fireworks, or if you’ve just adopted a new puppy and aren’t sure yet, here are a few ways you can help your dog through a loud firework show.


Take your dog out for a long walk earlier in the day


Getting plenty of exercise early in the day before the fireworks show is a great way to tire them out. Go on a long walk or hike or run around the backyard or park for a great way to actively enjoy the day while spending time together. Not only is it healthy for you both to enjoy some time outdoors, but once the fireworks show is about to start, your pup should be resting soundly. Remain calm as bedtime approaches for your pet and the example you set will help them feel comfortable and peaceful as they get ready for bedtime.


Keep them away from the fireworks


If you’re planning on going to watch the fireworks show, you’ll want to make sure your home is a safe haven, and your dog is away from areas where loud noises can come in. Think of the place in your home they feel the safest like a crate or cozy guest room, and make sure they’re set up for the night. Turning on sound machines / fans and closing windows and curtains may also help to drown out the noise, especially if you’re unsure of how loud it will be.


Check that your dog tag is accurate


Because so many dogs run away when they feel panicked, it’s important that you make sure your pup has the right identification. Check the collar and make sure your number and name are legible and up to date and if your dog has a microchip make sure it’s registered and the contact information is up to date.


Distract your pup with a new toy


Just like with infants, when puppies are upset a quick distraction might do the trick in helping to calm them. New toys (or old beloved toys) and long-lasting treats are great ways to occupy your dog while noises and bright lights may otherwise spook them.

If you’ve tried all these remedies and your pup is still spooked by fireworks and it’s becoming a persistent problem, it may be time to consult your veterinarian. Severe anxiety can cause you and your pet stress and consulting your veterinarian will help give you peace of mind and a plan to help soothe your dog’s anxiety. The AVMA suggests that you make an appointment as soon as possible to ensure a holistic plan is in place before the fireworks begin. If you need to schedule your next vet appointment at the Bregman Veterinary Group, reach out to our team today.

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