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13 Ways to Calm a Dog During Fireworks

The Fourth of July and the weeks surrounding the holiday is a tough time for many pets, and it can be equally as stressful for pet owners who wish they could calm their pet and reassure them that there is no danger. It’s not just the big firework displays that get pet scared, any kind will do, and practically everyone is shooting them off. What’s worse is that many areas like Pennsylvania, recently relaxed firework laws have put even bigger explosives in the hands of your neighbors.

We’ve rounded up as many tips as we could find to help you calm your pet down during this terrifying time of year, and we’re going to list them all for you here. Join us while we cover 13 different steps you can take to calm and protect your pet during fireworks.

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13 Tips for Calming a Dog During Fireworks

Here are the 13 tips we’ve found to calm a dog during fireworks.

1. Long walks in the morning or afternoon

Walking your pet in the morning or during the daytime allows you to avoid the bright lights and loud noises.

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2. Quick walk at dusk

A quick walk right before the fireworks usually begin can help avoid the need for a walk during peak hours. Short walks will also reduce the risk of your pet having an accident in the home when it gets scared.

man and dog walking
Image: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock
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3. Close Windows

Close your windows if possible before the fireworks go off. Closing your windows is the easiest way to quiet the sound coming into your home.

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4. Use Heavy Curtains

Use thick, heavy curtains to deaden the sound. Heavy curtains can cut down the sound of fireworks considerably, and they will mask and light that is created by them as well.

white puppy hiding in the curtain
Image: smrm1977, Shutterstock
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5. TV or Radio

Turn on some music or the television to help drown out the sound of the fireworks. Dogs can tolerate loud sounds from the tv and radio much better than they can the sharp pops and bangs of fireworks.

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6. Hiding Spots

Create several hiding spots around the home. When the nose starts, your pet is going to run for the first hiding spot it can find, so make sure these are several throughout the home.

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7.  Quiet Spots

While you are creating hiding spots around your home, you may also see some spots that can double as a quiet place. Under the bed is a perfect example of a hiding place that can double as a quiet place. The thick mattress will absorb much of the firework sound, and you can drape heavy blankets over the side of the bed to further dampen the sound, creating a much quieter environment for your pet to hide.

dog hiding under the sofa
Image: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock
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8. Quiet Room

If you have an underused room in your home, you can temporarily add some soundproofing material like blankets and heavy foam to the walls, which will help reduce the sound coming into the room. Some rooms are also naturally quieter than others, so make sure your pet can hide there. A finished basement is a perfect example of a naturally quiet room.

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9. Have Plenty of Toys

Sometimes with the windows closed and covered and the music up loud, you can distract your pet from the raucous outside by playing games with them using their favorite toys. Of course, this means you will be missing the fireworks yourself, but such is the price of owning a pet sometimes. You may also find that distraction only works sometimes, and louder noises can quickly break their concentration and send them running for shelter.

dog playing with chew toys

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10. Pheromones

Pheromones are scenting that dogs and cats can smell, but humans can’t. Several brands sell pheromones as a spray, diffuser, or collar, that can help with different behaviors and moods, including stress and anxiety. Pheromones are not effective on all dogs, but there’s a chance they can help calm your pet during the firework season.

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11. Comfort or Leave Alone

Some pets get scared and jump into your lap while others run off, and you won’t see them for an hour. If your pet is the type that likes comforting, you should try to make yourself available for them at this time each year, and it’s likely the best way to comfort your pet. However, some dogs prefer being alone when they are scared, and we recommend that you respect their wishes. It’s natural to attempt to comfort a hiding dog, but fearful dogs can get dangerous when you invade their territory and jeopardize their safety. It can also add stress to the situation and cause your pet even more anxiety. The best you can do is provide the hiding spots and let them come out on their own.

woman cuddles dog
Image: Albina Glisic, Shutterstock
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12. Escape Proof Home

When dogs get scared, there is no predicting what they will do. If they find an easy exit, they may take to running away from home. Having a loose dog is dangerous because it is scared, and it could become hostile. It will not know where to hide, and it could run far from home and get lost, or it could run into traffic and get hit by a car. Making sure the dog stays in the house when the fireworks start is the best way to avoid lost or injured pets.

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13. Microchip

If your dog is difficult to contain, or you think there is a chance they could escape and run away, we recommend having a microchip inserted into your pet. These devices will help you locate your pet quickly, no matter where they run, and it will also help others find you should someone locate the dog before you do.

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When firework season starts, the best way to keep your pet calm is to provide plenty of hiding places and keep the television or radio up loud for the first few hours of darkness each day. Timing your walks is also essential. If you have extra cash, you can try adding some soundproofing to one of the rooms in your home if you can convince your pet to hide there when it gets scared. Pheromones may also help calm your pet, so they aren’t afraid.

We hope you have enjoyed this guide and have found some tricks to try the next time the fireworks start. If you know other people with frightened dogs, please share this guide to calming a dog during fireworks on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: pixabay