Find out how to calm your dog during fireworks! Although fireworks are part of fun celebrations for humans on special holidays, they can be terrifying and painful for dogs (and cats) due to their highly sensitive ears. Sniff out 10 tips on how to calm your dog during fireworks and keep them safe!
*Although this post is written for dogs, most of these essential tips can also apply to cats.
#1 Keep them safe and sound INDOORS
Ensure your dog’s safety by keeping them indoors during fireworks. This is the very first step in keeping your dog calm as the indoors provide a much safer and calmer environment than the outdoors. Many dogs get lost due to fear; please make sure they are safe inside, either with you or someone you trust. This also keeps them away from obnoxious or vicious kids who find enjoyment in abusing or taunting animals. Sadly, numerous animal abuse incidents with the use of fireworks have occurred around the world.
#2 Don’t let your dog SEE the fireworks
With their highly sensitive ears, dogs will undoubtedly HEAR fireworks; the loud sounds will already be painful enough to their eardrums. Hence, please don’t let the scary sight of flashing lights scare them even more! Close the windows, shut the blinds, or cover the curtains – whatever you must do to keep the frightening sights and painful sounds away.
#3 Turn on the TV or music
Whether you sing along to your favorite song or leave a Netflix show running in the background, phase out those loud fireworks noises with some background sound! The less they hear, the less they will react.
#4 Stay by their SIDE
How to calm a your dog during fireworks? Comfort them by staying by their side! Give them gentle head strokes and belly rubs. In a confident and calm tone, assure them not to worry and that everything will be OK. If you’re truly good to your dogs, they will trust you more than anyone in the world. Dogs are highly intelligent animals who are capable of understanding human behavior and language at a capacity higher than most people imagine.
#5 Do NOT react negatively
If you react negatively, then your dog will only sense your fear, which only worsens the situation. Stay normal to help calm your dog during fireworks. If they bark or react in fear, do not yell or raise your voice at them. As I’ve barked out repeatedly, positive reinforcement works best with dogs; your negative reaction will only put them in greater fear and confusion.
#6 Keep them BUSY
Play games with them or give them treats, lasting chews, etc. – anything to keep them occupied before the fireworks start.
#7 Let them HIDE (if they choose)
If they want to leave your side, LET THEM! Allow them to go wherever they feel the safest indoors. Don’t force them to stay as long as they’re NOT outside. Let them find their own “safe place” inside the house, whether that’s under the bed or inside the closet.
#8 Reward them for being calm
Praise them verbally and reward them with treats for a job well done if they’ve remained calm or as soon as they come out of hiding!
Other sniff-worthy tips:
#9 Microchip + ID tag are KEY
In an unfortunate event that they somehow get lost, microchip and ID tags will speed up the reunion between you and your dog.
#10 NEVER expose them to fireworks in any way
Do not walk your dogs during or near the time when fireworks start, which typically happens in the evening. Make sure they get plenty of exercise or opportunities to relieve themselves beforehand. Please do not take them to a fireworks show or anywhere with fireworks. Again, the safest place for dogs is INDOORS!
Hope your dog stays calm during the fireworks with these tips! If you have a new tip on how to calm your dog during fireworks, please bark at me! Sharing is caring. 🙂
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob