3 Tips to Reassure Your Dog During July 4th

A black and brown dog lying under a red and white blanket

Fireworks can be fun and exciting, but for many people, they’re just a loud annoyance. And for some dogs, fireworks can be torturous. Certain dog breeds are more sensitive to noise, and any dog can develop noise phobia.

To protect your best canine friend this Fourth of July, here are some steps you can take to lower their stress level and comfort them during any firework festivities. The warning signs are clear (shivering, whimpering, hiding, etc.), so if you see your dog panicking, here’s what to do.

Tire Out Your Dog, Feed Them Well

Many dogs react poorly to thunderstorms and fireworks. While it’s hard to predict when a thunderstorm is rolling in, you usually know when to expect fireworks. If you can, exercise with your dog early on July 4th. Walks, runs, fetch, whatever it is, get active with your dog so they’re tired by the time the fireworks start. Keeping your dog busy may tire you out, but an exhausted pup will sleep more soundly.

And just like humans have comfort foods, plenty of meals can also help calm a dog’s anxiety. If you can, prepare a healthy meal for your furry friend before the sun sets and the show starts.

Create a Comfortable Environment

One of the keys to keeping your dog feeling safe is to create a safe space for them actively. A few companies develop stress-relieving dog houses, but they tend to be very expensive. Instead, you can use any room in your house, preferably partially soundproof. A basement works well, but you can hang curtains over the windows of any room to get some sound dulled. Bring your dog in, play some relaxing sounds to block the fireworks, and soothe your pup.

Here, you can also try to keep your dog distracted and happy, that way they won’t get startled by the loud noises outside. If you can stay home, comfort your dog as much as possible. Have chew toys and treats on hand and all the energy you can muster. Leave the white noise in the background and a comfy bed in your safe room if you’re going out.

Try a Thundershirt

The Thundershirt has become a staple for owners of anxious animals and can help comfort your pets through July 4th. Thundershirts work on dogs as swaddling cloths work on babies, gently applying pressure across their bodies to help them feel safe. The original Thundershirt goes for just under $50, but making your own is not difficult.

You don’t even need much material. You can craft a homemade thunder shirt from an Ace bandage, an old T-shirt, or any spare fabric. While it may not be incredibly stylish, most dogs prefer function over fashion regarding thundershirts.

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