Fourth of July Fireworks Can be Terrifying for Dogs. Here’s How to Help

5 ways to keep your dog from freaking out over fireworks.

By Max Rose

iStock-137466738

June 27, 2017

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

If you have a dog, you may already be worrying about the snap, crackle and pop that inevitably come with our Fourth of July holiday and send dogs cowering. “Dogs are afraid of the fireworks simply because they don’t know what they are,” says Aly DelaCoeur, a Seattle-based dog trainer and founder of the dog behavior website Why Does My Dog. How can you help your canine friend? She offers these suggestions.

1.Reduce anxiety. Talk to your vet about medications or natural remedies like aromatherapy and naturopathic therapy for your dog.
 
2. Help the dog feel safe. Find a quiet spot where your dog can hide; for example, a crate in the quietest area in the house. Fill it with favorite things, such as a comfy bed and toys. Turn on some classical music and dim the lights.
 
3. Let Spot hide. July Fourth is not the time to work on your dog’s fears. If your dog feels the need to hide, go along with it.

4. Keep the dog company. If you know your dog will likely be afraid, don’t leave the pup alone. If you’ll be away, hire a pet sitter.

5. Get ID. This is the time of year when dogs go missing. Even if your dog stays inside, keep an ID on your animal just to play it safe.

 

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