How to Keep a Dog Calm During Fireworks

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Even if you’re not taking your dog to a fireworks display, chances are he can hear them at your house, especially in the form of firecrackers in neighborhood backyards. Though the noise will inevitably alarm your dog, there are things you can do to help minimize the anxiety. Here’s how to help keep a dog calm during fireworks.

Exercise your dog three or four hours before the fireworks start. Take her to a dog park. Take her for a run or a walk. Or play catch for half an hour in the backyard. Do anything you can to help your dog release energy now so she’ll be tired out, and hopefully less stressed, later.

Feed your dog a nice big meal an hour or two before the fireworks start. You know how relaxed you feel on a full stomach. Your dog feels the same way.

Massage your dog half an hour before the fireworks start – the head, neck, spine and legs – relaxing your dog from head to toe.

Keep your dog inside the house. Make sure all of his “safe” places are accessible and comfortable, whether it’s under the bed, under a table or in his kennel.

Take your dog to a friend or family member’s house if the fireworks noise at your house is especially loud.

Spend quality quiet time with your dog after the fireworks are over. Though Steps One through Five will help, your dog will still feel stress and needs to know from you that everything is fine.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you’re taking your dog to a fireworks display, be sure to keep her on leash throughout the event. The last thing you want is her running scared from the noise into a crowd or busy street. And stay close to her, keeping her in your lap if she’s small enough or right by your side. If her kennel is a comforting place for her, take it with you. Leave the door open so that she can go in and out as she pleases – on leash, of course.

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