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Although personally, I think fireworks are some of the coolest things to experience as a human, do you ever wonder what it’s like for your pup during fireworks?

Over 75% of dogs experience stress and anxiety during fireworks. Why? Because there is no way to explain to them what it is. I mean, think about it. Fireworks really only happen three or maybe four days out of the year. So for them, it’s a random thing like thunderstorms that they think may cause them harm. It makes them feel vulnerable and confused, especially since they might mistake human excitement for nervousness or our own anxiety.

Like us, not only can dogs hear the noise of fireworks but they can also feel the unpredictable boom of fireworks. So really, even if your dog is deaf or close to it, they might still feel this anxiety because of the feeling they get while it’s happening.

With July 4th coming up, that means lots and lots of fireworks. It’s probably the most popular day for fireworks out of the entire year. So, do your pup a favor and read up to be prepared for them. PetMD gives several awesome tips on what to do for your pup during fireworks.

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  • 1. Use Sound Training

    PetMD says it might be helpful to first find a firework sound effect on an app or online somewhere. Then, introduce it to your dog at a low volume while giving them positive reinforcement like treats and lots of praise. Then, stop the sound and stop giving them treats at the same time. This will begin the positive association with the sound. Do this multiple times until your dog shows no signs of anxiety and instead looks at you expectantly for treats when the sound begins. Over time, slowly make the sound louder and louder and also make sure to vary the firework sounds.

  • 2. Get An Anxiety Vest

    If your dog has never used one of these anxiety vests, you might want to introduce it to them before they use it for the first time on the 4th. Essentially, PetMd says swaddling them in a vest or pressure wrap like this is very much like an infant. The vest will provide close comfort and lessen anxiety. You can make one to custom fit your dog with any kind of stretchy fabric. Just make sure it doesn’t restrict their movement or disallow them from breathing normally.

  • 3. Do A Long Workout With Your Pup Before Fireworks Start

    The logic here is that a dog that is mentally and/or physically exhausted might not have as bad of a reaction to fireworks. They can’t be anxious if they’re so tired, they can sleep right through them! Make sure to plan a full day of activities (long workout, hike, or social time with other dogs) that will be sure to max out your pup before the fireworks begin.

  • 4. Make Dinner and Outside Time Earlier Than Normal

    If your dog is anxious around fireworks, it is better to have them eat, digest, and be able to go to the bathroom well before the show starts. A dog scared of fireworks will most likely be afraid of going outside, which will force them to hold their pee or poop…until they let it out inside the house! Avoid this by scheduling eating time and potty time earlier than normal.

  • 5. Keep Your Pup Busy With Some Favorite Toys

    Sometimes, all it takes to distract a dog is a favorite toy or snack. If your pup has a favorite bone or chew toy, make sure to provide that before the fireworks start. This could help keep your pup’s mind off the anxiety behind fireworks.

  • 6. Use Other Sounds To Muffle The Boom

    Part of the reason why dogs feel so much stress around fireworks is because of the boom that they can hear and feel. One way to lessen this feeling and noise is to use other noise. Using white noise or a calming sound machine might help deafen the sudden and unpredictable pattern of fireworks sounds. Another trick with this is to create a smaller safe space for your dog (usually a crate) and use the sound largely in and around this safe space. For a crate, you can also use large blankets around it to deafen the noise. PetMD advises not to trap your dog inside the crate during the show though.

  • 7. Provide Reassurance and Safety For Them

    Although you may have heard that providing comfort for your dog during a situation that shouldn’t actually cause fear (like fireworks) is not the best, PetMD says dogs do have reason to be afraid of fireworks. It naturally makes them feel more vulnerable because they are unpredictable and again, feel this boom in their bodies. Giving them comfort by holding them or being with them will most likely make them feel safer. Especially for them to see that since you are not freaking out, they shouldn’t either.

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