For many people, fireworks are an exciting spectacle. For many dogs, fireworks can be confusing or terrifying. Even if you don’t take your dog to a fireworks display, you may not be able to avoid them. The noise alone can be overwhelming for many dogs. Dogs startled by fireworks can hide, tremble, or even run away to try and escape the noise.
Take steps to prepare your pets
You may not be able to avoid the fireworks, but you can prepare for them. Here are some simple tips for keeping your dog safe and calm during fireworks.
Update tags and microchips to help identify your dog
Frightened dogs will jump over gates, dig under fences, and do almost anything to get away from the noise. Animal shelters and pet rescues often become crowded with lost pets after the New Year or the Fourth of July.
Make sure your dog’s tags have your current contact information and are securely attached to their collar or harness. If your dog is microchipped, double-check the information connected to their microchip is current and updated as well.
Take a longer walk than usual before the fireworks start
Get your dog some exercise to make sure they’re tired before the fireworks. If you do, there’s a better chance they’ll be calm later on. If you typically take an evening walk, plan on going earlier that day. People rarely set off fireworks when the sun is still up. Walk a little longer than usual if you want your dog to feel more tuckered out and relaxed when you get home.
Walking them earlier can also help limit the need to let them out later in the night when it’s potty time. Some owners will move up mealtime to before the fireworks as well. This lets your dog eat in peace before any noise becomes disruptive.
Distract your dog or muffle the noise from the frightening fireworks
Keep your dog occupied with a favorite toy, snack, or playtime. A distracted dog may not even notice the noises outside. If they have a favorite food that you give them on special occasions, this could be the perfect time to spoil them.
A white noise machine or calming music can muffle most of the noise from the fireworks as well. If your dog has a special bed or safe space, you can cover the area with thick blankets to camouflage the sound.
Your dog will pay attention to you
It’s nothing new to say that dogs will mirror your emotions. When you’re calm, your dog is more likely to be calm. If you’re stressed or upset, a dog can pick up on that. Loud, unexpected noises, like fireworks, can trigger fear in your dogs. You can be there to comfort them. Seeing your reaction may not erase all fear responses, but it can help alleviate a sense of danger. Stay close to your dog, pet them gently, and provide comfort for them.
Dogs become what their environment makes them
Due to the unfamiliar circumstance and possible past trauma, some dogs are easily terrified. You can’t control whether or not someone else is going to set off fireworks. But, you can control the home where your dog lives. It’s up to you, as their family, to create an environment that allows them to feel safe and be their best dog self.
Home 2 Home is a non-profit canine orphanage revolutionizing the way dogs find their perfect homes. We consider ourselves an orphanage versus a traditional shelter because we provide needs-based care. We also have licensed trainers on staff, veterinary care, flowing water, and always-available beds. Their better life starts when we get them, but their best life is after they’re adopted to their forever home. Learn more about us and our story.