How to keep your furry friends calm during fireworks

A bunch of fireworks in a night sky.

More dogs go missing over the 4th of July holiday than any other time of year. This is largely due to our canine companion’s fear of the traditional fireworks.

Here’s some tips and tricks to help your pup stay calm during this year’s celebrations.

Give your dog plenty of exercise during the day.

Most displays won’t start till dusk, so ensuring your dog is worn out by then can help them keep calmer during the shows.

A jack russel terrier being walked on a dirt path.

Keep your dog inside at home during the displays.

If you need to let your dog out, do it on a leash, or be sure there isn’t a chance of them getting away from you.

Create a safe space for your dog.

Before the fireworks start, make sure your dog has a space where they feel comfortable and safe. My two dogs enjoy their kennels with blankets draped over them. This creates a den-like atmosphere that they feel protected in. 

I set up these spaces in the basement for my dogs, as the outside noise isn’t as loud down there.

A French bulldog wrapped up in a fuzzy gray blanket.

Play white noise.

Playing a movie or music can help drown out the loud booms from the fireworks. If your dog has a favorite, like the nature documentaries that mine enjoy, playing those can help distract them from their fear.

Try alternative methods.

Calming vests for dogs create a constant hug-like effect for your dog that can help them settle. 

Calming chews or treats (easily found at your local pet store or online) can help give your dog the extra calming effect they need.

Contact your vet.

If none of these methods are working for your dog, contact your vet to see if they have additional suggestions or even medications that can help your dog settle over the holiday.

A yellow lab sitting on an exam table being examined by two veterinarians.

We all want to keep our furry friends safe and comfortable. However, it is always best to plan for the worst. Ensuring your dog is microchipped, and has a nametag with your phone number are good ways to help your pet get back home if they do manage to escape. 

Hopefully, these suggestions help your pet keep calm during the festivities so you can enjoy th holiday. Happy Independence Day!