Updated on: June 21, 2023
The 4th of July is a time of celebration for many, featuring outdoor barbecues and awe-inspiring firework displays. While these firework displays fill us with awe and patriotic spirit, they can have a negative impact on our furry companions.
According to a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, it is estimated that about 45% of dogs have a firework phobia.
If your pet is known to cower in the corner (or under furniture) in the presence of loud noises, it’s best to prepare ahead of time.
In this blog, we’ll explore ways to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being amidst the noise and excitement of the 4th of July celebrations.
Why Dogs Are Scared of Fireworks
Dogs have a remarkable sensitivity to loud noises and sudden bursts of light, making them susceptible to anxiety and fear during fireworks.
As responsible pet owners, it is essential to recognize the signs of distress in dogs during these displays.
Signs of Anxiety & Fear in Dogs During Fireworks
- Excessive barking
- Escape attempts
Recognizing their anxiety allows us to take necessary measures to ensure their safety and well-being during this difficult time.
Create a Safe Environment for Your DogTo help your dog feel safe and secure during fireworks, it’s essential to prepare your home with a calm environment.
Start by designating a quiet room or area where your dog can retreat to. Provide comforting items like:
- Blankets or beds they can snuggle into
- Favorite toys they can play with
- Soft music or white noise to help drown out the noise of fireworks
Exercise Your Dog Before Fireworks
Before the fireworks begin, it’s important to exercise your dog both physically and mentally.
Physical activity helps reduce anxiety and excess energy, helping them to be more relaxed during the fireworks.
Engaging your dog in mentally stimulating activities, like puzzle toys, treat dispensing toys, and obedience training, can tire them out even further.
Engage Your Dog With Single-Ingredient Dog Treats
When engaging your dog with puzzle and treat dispensing toys, it’s also important to prioritize their nutritional needs.
That’s why Momentum Carnivore Nutrition offers single-ingredient dog treats that are free from artificial flavors, colors, GMOs, and preservatives.
These healthy freeze-dried dog treats are perfect for your furry friend during these activities, ensuring they enjoy both mental stimulation and nutritious rewards.
Start to Desensitize Your Dog to Fireworks
Desensitization techniques can help prepare your dog for the sounds and lights of fireworks. Gradual exposure to these stimuli is key, and you can begin exposure by following these steps:
Start by using recorded fireworks sound.
Play these recordings at a low volume and gradually increase the volume over time.
Combine this process with reward-based training.
By rewarding your dog with treats during each exposure, you can help them associate the fireworks with positive experiences, ultimately reducing their fear and anxiety.
Running low on treats? Try out our top-selling Freeze-Dried Beef Hearts Dog Treats!
4 More Ways to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks
As pet parents, we always want to know what we can do to make our pets feel safe. In preparation for the firework festivities, here are a few other options to consider to help your dog stay calm:
1. CBD Treats
It’s fairly common knowledge that humans use CBD for anxiety and stress-related concerns. But did you know pets can also benefit from CBD oil?
There are studies that support anecdotal benefits for pain and anxiety, but it’s always wise to check with your veterinarian beforehand in case of interactions with other medicines your pet may be taking.
2. Diffused Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has the potential to provide a calming effect for dogs when properly diluted. Just like in humans, lavender oil can promote stress relief and relaxation in pets.
However, it is very important that it is diluted properly so as to not harm your pet!
3. Security Items
Does your pet have a particular toy or blanket they turn to when they’re feeling stressed? Make sure these objects are readily available before the fireworks begin.
Fireworks and other sudden loud noises can send your pet into panic mode, so having known comfort objects nearby can help to mitigate the panic.
4. Calming Vest
Many pet owners rave about the ThunderShirt. This is a vest that wraps around your pet that is said to instantly calm them through the use of continuous, gentle pressure.
ThunderShirts are veterinarian recommended and advertise a calming effect on over 80% of dogs.
Safety Measures to Take for Dogs That Are Scared of Fireworks
Along with trying to calm your dog during fireworks, it’s important to take other safety measures in case they do get scared.
Firstly, make sure your dog has proper identification tags with up-to-date contact information. This will help in case they get scared and accidentally escape.
Secondly, keep your dog indoors during the fireworks to minimize their exposure to loud noises and potential dangers.
Additionally, secure all doors, windows, and fences to prevent any escape attempts.
Safety Measures to Take - Even If Your Dog Isn't Afraid of Fireworks
Even if your dog isn’t afraid of fireworks, it’s still important to follow a few of these safety measures during the 4th of July!
Clean Up Firework Pieces After Celebrations
After firework displays, it’s important for pet owners to clean up all firework pieces to prevent dogs from eating them. Firework remnants like plastic casings and debris can be dangerous if ingested, causing choking or blockages.
Check the area where the fireworks were used and dispose of any remaining pieces in a secure trash bag. Cleaning up promptly helps keep your dog safe and reduces the risk of injuries or digestive issues.
Keep Your Dog Indoors
Even if your dog isn’t afraid of fireworks, it’s still important to keep them indoors during displays. Fireworks can be unpredictable and loud noises can startle even the most confident dogs.
Indoor confinement ensures their safety and prevents any potential accidents or injuries.
Feeding Your Dog on the Go
Regardless of your 4th of July plans, Momentum Carnivore Nutrition is here to help you and your pet have the best holiday paw-sible!
Bring along our portable meal bars while traveling, or give your dog delicious freeze-dried treats to promote good behavior during fireworks shows. If celebrating isn’t your style, create a safe space and spend the night cuddling with your furry friend!
Whatever your holiday weekend has in store, our team at Momentum Carnivore Nutrition hopes you all stay happy and safe!