Yay! Here Come the Fireworks! (said no dog...ever)

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Sound Sensitive Dogs

In non-Covid times, the 4th of July means packed backyard parties, cookouts in the local park, party boats by the lake. In the midst of a global pandemic? Not so much. But the one thing that seems to remain consistent about the 4th of July is...fireworks.

Where I live, in the County of Los Angeles, fireworks are illegal. Still, every year the fireworks begin in early June, and carry on through August. One of my dogs is very sound sensitive and we have to change our daily routine to work around the explosives.

Dog Fear Fireworks
Howard is not a fan of fireworks

Here's a few tips that may help make your dog more comfortable:

  • Set up a safe space for your dog such as a covered crate/x-pen with soft blankets, creating a cozy, secure den-like atmosphere.

  • Play calming music. There are products specifically designed for dogs such as iCalmPet.

  • Electric fans and white noise machines mask the sound of outside noises. There are also apps and white noise recordings on YouTube as well as skills on Amazon Echo (Alexa).

  • Pheromone sprays or plug-ins/Adaptil can be obtained from your veterinarian. Diluted lavender spray may also have some calming properties.

  • Many dogs react favorably to compression garments such as the Thundershirt.

  • Talk to your veterinarian to discuss pharmaceutical/neutraceutical options.

  • Keep the window blinds closed and the interior lights on. This helps dilute the light flashes from in-air fireworks.

  • Avoid waking your dog after dark when there's more likely to be fireworks.

In addition, it is safest to keep your pets indoors on the 4th of July. Loud noises can cause a pet to startle and panic and escape your yard. Additionally, if your dog hides, avoid pulling them out of hiding. All dogs can use their teeth when frightened. And please comfort your pet when they are fearful. You won't be increasing their fear and, in fact, may be easing their discomfort.

Have a happy, safe, healthy 4th of July holiday!

Help Dogs with Fireworks Fear

Have any great tips? Please leave them in the comments below! We'd love your input.

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