3 Ways to Keep Dogs Calm During Holiday Fireworks Celebrations
According to the American Kennel Club, more dogs run away from home on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. Around the Fourth of July, New Year's Eve, and some other holidays, your neighbors might choose to celebrate with fireworks. Perhaps, you even enjoy setting off some bottle rockets or firecrackers yourself.
Sadly, what you might find a fun way to celebrate can upset your dog. Unfamiliar noises, lights, and even odors alarm many pets. Similarly, lots of dogs find thunderstorms disturbing. In fact, if storms upset your dog, he probably also won't react well to fireworks. Check out some tested tips to help calm your furry friends.
THREE TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PETS CALM DURING FIREWORKS
If you've got a dog who doesn't care for the loud bangs, bright lights, and burning smells of fireworks, consider these suggestions.
1. Create a safe haven
Prepare in advance for celebratory evenings by making sure you've walked your dog well before the fireworks shows. Since dogs instinctively retreat to dens, you can create a den-like safe space in your home. A crate, closet, or even the area under a bed will work. Include a blanket and some of your pooch's favorite toys and treats. Do your best to insulate this area against outside lights and noises.
2. Play calming sounds
Even white noise from a fan may help mask sounds. A search of YouTube for white noise for dogs will uncover some helpful suggestions. For your best bet, buy an album called "Through a Dog's Ear." Created through a partnership with a veterinary neurologist, classical pianist, and a psycho-acoustic expert, this album has proven effective at calming a majority of dogs in both shelters and households.
3. Try relaxing supplements and pet accessories
Consider investing in some calming pet supplements and accessories:
- Anxiety wraps: These wraps look similar to harnesses or vests. They're specially made to apply mild pressure to the dog's torso. It's best to acclimate dogs to an anxiety vest in advance, so they won't associate wearing it with a stressful event. According to VCA Animal Hospital, no studies prove effectiveness, but lots of pet parents say they help.
- Melatonin: Some people take melatonin to help them relax and sleep, and dogs can take it, too. It's best to buy a melatonin dog supplement and ensure the correct dose. For example, many human supplements contain artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, that are toxic for dogs. Your vet may tell you not to give this supplement to pregnant females or young puppies.
- CBD or hemp oil: You can also find plenty of pet products with CBD and hemp oil on the market these days. These supplements may help dogs deal with anxiety. As with melatonin, you may want to check with your vet first and only purchase specially formulated pet products.
DO FIREWORKS UPSET CATS TOO?
Certainly, fireworks can upset cats, other pets, and even large animals, like horses. Giving any of these critters a safe space, calming music, and even appropriate supplements may help reduce anxiety.
Most importantly, don't punish your pets for their reactions. Be sure to treat behavior calmly. In some cases, pets will interpret your own annoyance or irritation at the disruption of fireworks as a further sign of a threat.
It's hard to find a good, natural product you can trust to give your dog for anxiety, especially when there's loud fireworks that you can't automatically turn off. We formulated our Chillout Bites to provide a safe (and delicious) way to curb Fido's fears!