How to Prepare Your Dog for 4th of July Fireworks

Common Sense Advice To Keep Your Dog Safe Around Fireworks

How to Prepare Your Dog for 4th of July Fireworks

Fireworks and dogs do not usually mix! This article will give you some ideas of how to prepare your dog for 4th of July fireworks!

Most all dog owners are aware that the 4th of July is a scary time for dogs. The loud noises and the constant popping sounds that fireworks make can cause a lot of fear in them. Not understanding what is going on also causes high anxiety and a great deal of stress.

Because dogs don’t understand that these noises are part of a celebration, they fear them.

Dogs can react to fireworks in different ways. If they were exposed to them as puppies or conditioned to except the noise, they usually don’t mind it. Still others can tolerate them, but may choose to find a quiet place to get away from the noise. Unfortunately most dogs not only fear fireworks, they tend to want to run away and hide from them.

If they are fearful, several things can happen. First, they can cause damage to your home in an effort to get away from the noise. Second, they can cause injury to themselves during an escape attempt. Next, if they do happen to escape, they can get lost while trying to flee. Worst of all, they can get hit by a car or injured in other ways.

For all of these reasons if your dog hates fireworks, it’s very important that you never leave them alone during the fireworks.

How to Prepare Your Dog for 4th of July Fireworks
How to Prepare Your Dog for 4th of July Fireworks

Use Calming Products

Using classical conditioning methods are the best way to get your dog to tolerate, (if not like), fireworks. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time and repeated exposure to the fireworks. Most will find it easier to use tools and /or medication to speed up the process. There are all kinds of great anxiety medications on the market that are specifically designed for dogs.

CBD “calming products” are especially useful. They are formulated to keep your dog calm during highly stressful times. CBD calms the nerves in the brain and can help to lessen the stress and anxiety that your dog feels.

These kinds of products are very fast acting but will not knock your dog out like many prescription anxiety medications do. They come in several forms, from oils to soft chews.

Get a Calming Vest

Calming vests have been around for quite a while now.  They can be effective and have been shown to lessen the amount anxiety and stress that dogs feel. Vest works by applying even amounts of pressure to your dog’s body. It’s like a long lasting hug and it helps to slow their heartbeat and lessen the amount of anxiety they feel.

They come in all shapes and sizes for all kinds of dogs. Calming vests are a great way to help your dog feel more protected and secure when all of that craziness is going on around them.

Other Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm

Part of keeping your dog calm is knowing how your dog is feeling. Dogs tell us how they feel by using their body language. When they are feeling safe and calm they show us by using a relaxed body posture. When they become stressed or scared they tense up, become unresponsive to commands and often cower or hide.

Keeping your dog occupied and distracted is very important if you want to help your dog get through these scary times. This begins with creating a fun place for them to hang out.

Play With Your Dog

One great way to help your dog release some anxious stress and nervous energy is to take them outside to play before the noise starts. This serves to get their excess energy burned off and it gets them tired. This will help your dog be more relaxed during the evening.

Playtime should start before you hear any fireworks. Start by closing up the house or apartment. Then close the windows and turn on the air conditioner. Next, turn up the TV or a stereo to help drowned out as much of the outside noise as possible. This would also be a great time to get your dog to go out to go potty. It may keep you from needed to let it back outside later in the evening.

Playtime could start with a long walk, a run, or simply play catch or fetch until your dog is pretty much worn out. This is a common trick I have used for many years. Dogs with an abundance of energy are more prone to anxiety.

Remember, in the days leading up to the 4th, when you’re going to be outside you should make sure that your dog is wearing a collar with their identification tags on it. This is a safety precaution in case someone lights off a firework and your dog decides to bolt.

Secure and Lock Doors and Windows

If you are planning to leave your dog at home alone, make sure you provide it with a safe, quiet area to go. Preferably in a lower level in your home. Dogs have been known to “break out” when under high stress so make doubly sure that all doors are securely locked. Also make sure that your dog has no access to windows. You want to avoid creating any accidental escape routes.

Keeping your dog in a lower level of your home, (below ground is best), it will help drowned out the noise of the fireworks. You may also want to turn on a TV or a stereo as loud as you can. Also run fans or the air conditioning to help keep your dog cool while you are gone. It will also create some “white noise”.

Take a Few Extra Precautions

It is also a very good idea to be prepared for an escape. Make sure your dog has a well fitting collar equipped with a dog tag on it. The tag should have your address and contact information on it. This way if your dog does escape, and someone find it, they will be able to quickly reach you. It is also a good idea to have your dog “chipped”. If it is registered your dog can be scanned by any veterinarian or animal rescue and they can contact you easily.

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Ideas for how to prepare your dog for 4th of July Fireworks!