How To Keep Your Dog Calm During Fourth of July Fireworks

July 2, 2012

July Fourth Independence day dog

It’s a time of the year that most Americans look forward to. We get excited about seeing displays of fireworks that will awe us and enjoy the big booms and bangs as well as the crackles. But many dogs don’t handle this very loud tradition as well as we do, and there’s no explaining to Fido that fireworks are meant to celebrate Independence Day.

Though not all dogs are afflicted with the firework-phobia, many shake, hide and cry when they hear the loud, unexplainable booms outside. So, it’s important to brush up on some tips for the Fourth that will keep your pet happy, safe and, hopefully, calm.

1. Walk your dog before the fireworks start so they can stay inside throughout the entire show.

2. Minimize noise from outside: The SPCA of Auckland recommends closing windows, doors and blocking off doggie doors so not much noise can get inside. Also turn on the television or music – whatever makes your dog feel most comfortable.

3. Prepare a “den” for your pooch: In case Fido does get really scared, this will give him a great place to hide and feel safe.

4. Act like a paramedic to your scared dog: Cesar Milan recommends acting like a paramedic would to a patient. Stay calm and let your dog pick up on your relaxed vibe.

5. Keep your pooch away from typical hazards found on July Fourth: The ASPCA recommends keeping all insect repellants, lighters, lighter fluid, alcoholic drinks and, of course, fireworks, away from your dog. Make sure not to leave these items out for Poochie to find and don’t let her play with glow sticks.

6. Do not leave your dog tethered in the yard: Dogs can accidentally strangle themselves with fear.

7. Try out the Thundershirt: This is a vest that is meant to relax anxious dogs. It uses pressure to calm nerves and can be really helpful during a fireworks display.

8. Utilize distractions: If your dog loves food puzzles or playing with a squeaky toy, this may work to keep him focused and not worried about the fireworks.

We hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th celebration!

Sources: SPCA of Auckland, Cesar’s Way, ASPCA blog,, main image via Pawsh Pal

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