Being a human suffering from anxiety, I can sympathize with an anxious pet. Many pets get scared during fireworks, and it's not something to be brushed off. Unlike you or me, our anxious pets don't understand what's happening. Fireworks don't seem to scare our big dog, Hilo, but he does get excited. He just barks a lot, but The Grump shows actual signs of fear. Some people have their vets prescribe tranquilizers, but if your pet doesn't require something so extreme, there are other things you can do to help. This post contains affiliate links.
Keep Anxious Pets Calm During Fireworks
Stay Home – If possible, staying in to comfort your anxious pets is ideal. Last year we stayed home, but I thought it would be nice to sit on the deck to watch fireworks. I brought The Grump out there with us. That was a BIG mistake. He was horrified and instantly started shaking like a little leaf. It didn't help that all the neighbors had their loud fireworks blowing up very close to us. I felt so horrible that we subjected our dogs to this. This year I will be inside with the pets on the 4th of July.
Of course, I love to stay in, so this is not a problem at all for me. If you are like most people and have plans on the 4th, here are some other suggestions.
Background Noise – I find that having the TV or radio on can help drown out the noise of fireworks or thunder. The huge BOOMS that shake the house still cause jumpiness, but it seems to help during the rest of the chaos.
Create a Safe Space – Crate trained dogs can sometimes find their crates to be a “safe spot”. They consider it to be their little space and find the confinement soothing. The Grump is no longer crate training, so he just likes to curl up under the blankets on my bed.
Essential Oils – Many essential oils have calming effects. Just as they benefit us, they can help anxious pets as well. Canine Calm natural aromatherapy mist by Earth Heart Inc. helps relax dogs using a soothing blend of essential oils. You can also use a diffuser to mist the air with calming oils. I like eucalyptus, peppermint, and/or lavender.
Thunder Shirt – I have never tried a Thunder Shirt, but it makes sense to me. Gentle pressure is shown to have a calming effect. It's like wearing a hug! 😉
Remain Calm – Definitely do not freak out or let your dog see you in a frenzy during this time. If you act like nothing is wrong, they tend to pick up on that vibe. You are their leader, so lead by example.
Wear them Out – Do something extra fun and active with your pets during the day. Hopefully they will be too wiped out to freak out.
Do you have any anxious pets? What have you found to be most helpful?
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