Managing Fireworks Phobia in Your Dog

Comic of two dogs talking. Comic Reads "My plans for the forth aren't finalized yet but I'm either cowering under the bed or digging a hole through the tub...and you?"

Managing Fireworks Phobia in Your Dog

When we think about the Fourth of July we think about barbeques, parades and fireworks. Animal shelters think about how many extra lost dogs they will take in when frightened dogs run away to escape loud and unpredictable fireworks. Here are some tips to minimize your dog’s distress during the holiday weekend:

1. Exercise early and long.

A tired pup is less likely to be awake and frightened by fireworks. On the day of your local fireworks display, spend extra time outdoors early in the day so your pup falls asleep early.

2. Create a calming environment.

Don’t take your dog to fireworks displays. Leave them home and play music especially edited for dog’s ears or designed to soothe dogs with noise phobias. Close the windows, put the blinds down, draw the drapes and block out as much noise as possible. Cover your dog’s crate with a heavy blanket and turn on the air conditioner or white noise machine to drown out the fireworks.

3. Make them feel safe.

Wrap your dog tightly in a ThunderShirt, Anxiety Wrap, or other similar product. Double-check their collar, ID tags, and microchip registration in case a breakout occurs. If your dog does get lost, check our suggestions on finding a lost pet.

4. Use natural remedies.

Just like in people, lavender has calming properties in dogs. A dab of lavender oil on their ear tips may be just enough to calm them during the fireworks. Another product is dog appeasing pheromone, which contains the calming smell, undetectable to humans, of a nursing mother dog. Anxitane is a tasty medication containing L-theanine, an extract of green tea with calming properties.

5. Try drug therapy.

Finally, if you have tried all of the above suggestions without success, see your veterinarian to discuss prescription medication to relieve your dog’s anxiety and keep him calm while you enjoy the fireworks.

Tags: fireworks, fourthofjuly, july4th,

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