Tips for Protecting and Calming Your Dog During Fireworks Displays

3 min


It won’t be too long before another Fourth of July rolls around, and with it, a considerable increase in the use of fireworks. Or, you might even be planning to use some of these products at home in the coming weeks to celebrate a wedding, birthday, or another occasion.

However, it’s vital to remember that not everyone loves this kind of display. In fact, most dogs hate being anywhere in the vicinity of these noisy explosions and will often try to escape and run far away. If you have a dog or two, it’s vital to know some steps you can take to protect and calm them when fireworks are in use.

Keep Them Well Away

Start by keeping your dog as far away from where the fireworks are being let off as possible. Whether you’re using large roman candles or cakes or smaller aerial fireworks, you need to keep your dog well clear in case something goes astray. This distance not only helps protect them and keeps them safe from accidentally getting too close and getting hurt but also keeps them calmer. The further away they are from all the racket, the less panicked they should feel. If you can have them at least a few miles away, that’s helpful.

Create a Safe Space for Your Pet

Next, ensure your dog has somewhere to hang out during the fireworks to feel as safe and secure as possible. This spot is likely to be your home, which is good because they know it well and it’s comfortable for them, but you may also need to utilize a friend’s house or a secure shed or other location. Ensure the animal has a cozy bed to sleep in, plenty of food and water, and some toys to distract themselves with. See if you can block out sounds more thoroughly, too, by closing drapes or curtains or even hanging up more soundproofing options if needed.

Have Someone Stay with Them

If possible, have someone stay with your pet during the fireworks celebration so they know they’re not alone and are less likely to get panicked as a result. If they’re too worried, they could try to escape or hurt themselves (and the area they’re in) by scratching at doors, windows, or furniture. Having someone with them protects both the dog and their surroundings and means that if they try to escape, there’s at least someone there to catch them before they get away.

Ensure They’re Easily Identify Just in Case

However, if your pet does, unfortunately, manage to get loose and run away to escape the fireworks, you need to ensure they’re easily identifiable. You want them to have on a collar with a tag that features their name, address, and your contact phone number. This way, if they get loose and someone finds them, they can let you know ASAP, and you can arrange to pick up your dog. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Desensitize Your Pet

Another tip is to see if you can do some training in the weeks or months before your fireworks display to get your pet more used to loud sounds. You can try to desensitize them by making loud bangs and letting off small firecrackers or sounding smoke alarms or sirens and the like while you’re at home with them. Show that you’re not scared of the noises and remain calm the whole time, and they should gradually start to learn that they’re okay, too. Plus, reward your dog after the sounds cease (never before) for staying calm so they learn to associate loud sounds with something positive.

Walk Your Dog Before the Fireworks Begin

Dogs are much less affected by fireworks shows if they can sleep through the noise. It’s wise to wear your dog out in the couple of hours before the fireworks begin so they’re more likely to be chilled out, resting and napping, when the noise starts. Take them for a long walk, throw the ball to them for a while, or put them through an agility course, etc., to get as much energy out of them as possible.

If none of the above tips relax your dog enough and you need to go a step further, you might purchase an anti-anxiety vest for them to wear during fireworks shows (these also work well for storms) or talk to your vet about administering some anxiety medication.

Take as many steps as you can to protect and calm your beloved pet, so not only are they okay when fireworks are happening, but you get to enjoy the displays more because you’re not worried about your dog.

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