June 29, 2016

How to Keep Your Dog Calm during Fireworks

Fireworks are synonymous with summer fun.

They go right along with watermelons, the Fourth of July, and, of course, spending time with your beloved pup.

While your dog will happily accompany you on many of your summer activities, he’d probably rather forgo the colorful explosions.

If you don’t want Fido spending Independence Day circling your house or quivering under the kitchen table, there are proactive measures you can take.

Here are 4 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks:

#1 Stay Home with Your Pet

This is one of the easiest solutions.

No one can comfort your pet like you can.

If your neighborhood has an event calendar, check to see if fireworks are scheduled. You will want to make arrangements so you can be there for your pet.

Plan on cooking your pup her favorite Original CrockPET® meal. Or get out the brush and spend some time grooming your dog. Even better, snuggle up and watch a movie.

Just being there with your furry friend will make a world of difference.

#2 Create a Safe Place for Your Dog

Your dog may find security by retreating to a crate or a bed in the corner.

Keep this in mind and ensure your dog has easy access to that unique spot.

Open any safety gates that block your pet from reaching the territory she calls her own during tough times. Make sure the crate door is open to welcome your pup.

When your dog gets the firework jitters, I suggest putting on some music or turning up the volume on the TV.

If the fireworks are close, the glare from the explosions may be disconcerting for your pooch, so make sure the blinds are drawn.

#3 Use a ThunderShirt/Blanket

Another way you can comfort your dog is by using a ThunderShirt.

The ThunderShirt is a vest inspired by the concept of a swaddling cloth. You’ll be happy to know that you can use the vest for fireworks, not just thunder.

If your pocketbook is tight, why not use the original idea and make your own vest?

Take a long blanket and wrap it around your dog’s torso and chest. Just make sure you don’t wrap your pup too tightly.

#4 Exercise Your Dog

If your dog responds to fireworks by running a marathon, this piece of advice is really important: take your dog for some extended exercise before the celebration.

Go for a long walk. Have him run and swim. You want your dog to be ready for a nap, not a jumping contest.

And when those fireworks begin cracking, he should have less energy to spend on anxiety.

Understand Your Pet’s Limitations

Unfortunately, for your pet, summer months can also bring scary, anxiety-elevating issues in addition to the fireworks around the Fourth of July.

Your pet may be frightened by thunderstorms and travels to new places.

He or she may also experience separation anxiety when the family goes on vacation.

Heightened stress and anxiety can cause your pet to:

  • Become unusually destructive.
  • Develop aggressive behaviors.
  • Form negative habits like excessive barking.
  • Suffer from health issues that stem from anxiety.

As a veterinarian, I help pet owners manage their cat or dog’s anxiety issues so that they don’t become dangerous to both your pet and your family.

When training, ThunderShirts, crates, and other stress/anxiety-reducing techniques don’t work, I recommend Liquid NutriCalm for Dogs & Cats.

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Cheers to a Lifetime of Great Health!
Medical information or statements made on this site are not intended for use in or as a substitute for the diagnosis or treatment of any health or physical condition or as a substitute for a veterinarian-client relationship which has been established by an in-person evaluation of a patient. This information and advice published or made available through this website is not intended to replace the services of a veterinarian, nor does it constitute a veterinarian-client relationship. Each individual’s treatment and/or results may vary based upon the circumstances, the patients’ specific situation, as well as the health care provider’s medical judgment and only after further discussion of the patient’s specific situation, goals, risks, and benefits and other relevant medical discussions.

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