Many dogs are afraid of very loud noises like thunder and fireworks. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to calm your dog and make them feel more comfortable during firework season.
Setting your dog up with a comfortable and relaxing space can help them get through fireworks. Some products like thunder shirts, doggy earmuffs, and CBD products can help as well. Of course, it is a good idea to speak with your vet if your dog is experiencing very severe and inconsolable anxiety during fireworks season.
In this article, we will be giving you some tips on how to keep your dog calm during fireworks. These tips can work for things like thunderstorms as well. We will also be describing the symptoms of anxiety in dogs, and explaining why dogs tend to be so scared of fireworks. Let’s jump right into it.
There are many different potential symptoms of anxiety in dogs, and they vary in severity. Here are some of the most common signs of anxiety in dogs:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive barking or howling
- Whining, yelping, or crying
- Trembling and shaking
- Pacing and other restless behaviors
- Destructive behaviors like chewing and digging
- Stiff body language
- Dilated pupils
- Ear pinned back
- Hair standing on end
- Excessive drooling
- Having accidents inside
It is very common for dogs to exhibit more than one symptom of anxiety when they are feeling anxious. However, anxiety will not necessarily appear to be the same in every dog. If your dog is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms during fireworks, then it is safe to say that they make your dog anxious.
Why are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?
So, why are dogs so frightened of fireworks anyway? Well, a firework is a very loud sound that is similar to that of an explosion. Since dogs do not know what fireworks are, they do not understand that they are mostly harmless. As a result, the loud sound and the flash of light that fireworks give off will likely make a dog fearful for their well-being and safety. A fear of loud sounds is very common in dogs.
There are many potential solutions to calming a dog down during firework season. In fact, there are eight of them. Trying out a combination of these remedies will likely give you the best results, and you may need to try out a few things before you find what works for your dog. Here are the eight ways to calm your dog during firework season.
1) Tire Them Out During the Day
When a dog is tired, they are less likely to get super worked up about things like fireworks. So, if you know for a fact that there is going to be a firework show in your area that night, it couldn’t hurt to do a lot of fun things with your dog during the day.
Go for a fun walk, a swim, or any other activity that is sure to tire your dog out by the end of the day. This means that your dog will likely be too tired to care about the fireworks going on outside come nighttime. This is especially true if you also have some white noise on and your dog is relaxing in a comfortable space.
2) Set up a Safe Space for Them
It is also a very good idea to have a safe and relaxing space for your dog to be in when the fireworks are going on. Placing comforting toys and comfortable beds, blankets, and pillows will help your dog relax.
3) Encourage Them With Treats and Affection
Playing games, giving your dog treats, and giving them affection can help distract your dog from the fireworks. Just be careful not to be extra dramatic when your dog is feeling anxious. Doing this could eventually make their anxiety worse.
4) Play Relaxing Music or White Noise
Playing relaxing music or white noise will help drown out the sound of the fireworks. It is best to choose music that is calming and does not have very loud or high-pitched notes. Classical piano music can be a great option. Of course, white noise and rain sounds can work great as well.
5) Thunder Shirts and Doggy Earmuffs
There are two helpful products on the market that can aid in reducing a dog’s anxiety during fireworks. The first product is called a thunder shirt. Thunder shirts apply deep pressure around a dog’s body, making them feel safer and more secure. It essentially works in the same way that swaddling a baby helps them calm down.
There are also many different brands of doggy earmuffs on the market. These can be great to drown out the noise of things like fireworks and thunder. Since these noises are not as loud to dogs when they are wearing earmuffs, they usually work to reduce their anxiety.
6) Spray Calming Pheromones
There are also calming pheromones that you can purchase and spray on things like blankets, pillows, and soft toys. These pheromones mimic those of a dog that essentially tells a dog that they are safe in that location. While these pheromones are often effective, it is best to pair them with some of the other solutions on this list.
7) Calming Over-the-Counter CBD Products
Some dog owners have also reported that over-the-counter CBD products work at calming their dogs down. Like the calming pheromones, it is best to pair these CBD products with some of the other tips on our list like white noise and setting your dog up with a comfortable space. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog over-the-counter medications like these.
8) Prescribed Anti Anxiety Medication
Of course, some dogs have intense anxiety that requires veterinary treatment to really get better. As a result, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet about prescribed anti-anxiety medication if your dog’s anxiety is severe or does not seem to be getting better with the other tips on our list.
If your pup gets frightened during the summer firework season, try some of these tips to help ease their stress and anxiety. If you have any further questions, it is always best to consult with your dog’s veterinarian.
For pet parents in the Philadelphia region, World of Animals has five locations to serve you and your pet. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact one of our locations today.