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Dogs and Fireworks: What You Need to Know

Updated: Jan 23


fire works show on the fourth of july

Dogs and Fireworks: What You Need to Know

As the 4th of July approaches, we look forward to the great food, an excuse to get away to the pool, lake, or beach, and some enjoyable fireworks at night. However, as many know, puppies and fireworks can be tricky.

Unfortunately, this combo can cause serious heartbreak, and more puppies run away on July 4th than on any other day.

What to Do

Here we offer practical advice on ensuring your pup is as comfortable as possible before and during the fireworks.


Before

  • Act normal – puppies are incredibly adept at detecting behavior changes, so try to act as though everything is fine, even once the fireworks (and their loud bangs) begin.

  • Give your puppy some exercise earlier to tire them out – this trick works on kids too!

  • Desensitize your pup ahead of time – try playing fireworks noises around your dog, starting at a low level and slowly increasing the volume.

  • If all else fails, there are several therapeutic options to help with your What are some specific over-the-counter and prescription options for a dog's anxiety during fireworks? Dog's over-the-counter and prescription anxiety – talk to your vet to discuss the best option for your dog.


During

  • Try confining your dog to a small room in the home's interior to reduce noise and any light flashes.

  • Use a radio, fan, or white noise machine to provide another pleasant sound to distract them.

  • Swaddle or cover them with a blanket – this helps calm dogs by making them feel safe and protected.

  • Make sure they have plenty of toys available – again, positive distraction is the name of the game.

  • Be in the room with your dog to provide comfort.

  • If outside, keep your dog on a leash – any sudden booms may cause your pup to be startled and could run off unexpectedly.

  • Ensure they have plenty of water – and not just because July is hot; anxiety can cause a dog to be more thirsty than usual.

What NOT to DO

There are also a few no-nos that can make things worse.

  • Use negative or scolding language – as frustrating as it might be, your dog has no control over their anxiety, so be patient.

  • Take your dog to a fireworks show – unless you have had years of experience, this is a recipe for disaster, and dogs can experience extreme anxiety even if they are not running around in circles.

  • Leave them outside – especially if you are leaving the house. This is how a frightened dog can quickly jump a fence when scared.

Enjoy Your 4th of July.

Like any holiday, the 4th of July should be a relaxing break from work and everyday life. With the tips above, you and your dog can enjoy the fireworks and the entire holiday. Happy Independence Day from Desiree & me at OC Goldens.


 

For more information on all things Golden Puppies, view our Puppies 101 Blog!

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