How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks and Thunderstorms: 10 Effective Tips

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Updated on: Apr 28, 2023
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How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks and Thunderstorms: 10 Effective Tips

Did you know that when dogs hear loud noises like fireworks or thunder, they often become fearful and agitated?

Here are ten suggestions for soothing your dog through a thunderstorm or when fireworks go off nearby, so they feel less anxious!

Create a cozy and comfortable area for your dog to relax. 

Did you know that loud noises can cause our furry friends anxiety?

Giving your dog a secure hiding spot during scary storms or when fireworks go off will help them remain calm. Dogs might become anxious in these situations, so providing them with a safe haven is important.

Choose a calm area of the house or a safe kennel and remove any potential hazards, such as toys or cords, that could cause harm to your dog.

Adding bedding or blankets can make the area cozier and more welcoming for your dog. In order for your dog to feel secure in its designated area, you should take it there ahead of time.

Similarly to a scavenger hunt, you may accomplish this by hiding goodies or toys in the area and letting your dog find them.

Avoid forcing your dog to go to its crate. Always give them the option whether they like it there or not. This might give your dog a sense of empowerment and make them feel less threatened, thus reducing anxiety.

Play calming music or white noise in the background to help block out the noise of fireworks and thunderstorms.

Soothing music or white noise is a great way to help your dog stay calm when fireworks or thunderstorms occur. 

The idea is quite simple! 

You need to play low-volume music or white noise in the background to help cover up the loud sounds of fireworks and thunder. Music can help calm your dog down and make it feel less anxious.

When picking music, it's best to use calming instrumental music like classical or new age. If you check online, several music tracks are made especially for dogs that are meant to help them feel less anxious.

You can also use white noise, a constant background noise that can help drown out sudden loud sounds like fireworks and thunderstorms. A white noise machine, a fan, or even a white noise app on your phone can make white noise.

It's important to remember that calming music or white noise may not work for all dogs. Some dogs may need natural remedies or medicine to help them deal with their anxiety during fireworks and storms.

Offer your dog a toy or treat to keep them occupied and distracted during the event.

When fireworks or storms occur, dogs can get nervous and scared and may look to their owners for comfort and reassurance. Giving your dog a toy or treat can help them forget about the loud noises and flashes of light.

Plus, it can also help them think of the event in a good way!

Puzzle toys make your dog work for a treat or toy, and chew toys are good options to keep your dog busy. Pick out treats high in protein and low in sugar, and avoid treats with ingredients your dog is allergic to.

It's important to remember that distractions can help calm your dog down when there are fireworks or storms, but they shouldn't be the only thing you do.

Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Number 4 on the list says to take your dog for a walk before the fireworks display and thunder. This can help calm your dog's nerves and make sleeping easier during these stressful events.

Going on a stroll with your dog is a great way to: 

  • release his excess energy
  • relax  your dog
  • improve mental and emotional well-being
  • make your dog more resilient to stress.

When you take your dog for a walk before fireworks or a storm, you should ensure that the walk suits your dog's age, breed, and health

Consider taking your dog for a walk, playing a game of fetch, or doing something else it enjoys depending on its energy level and exercise requirements.

Avoid leaving your dog alone during the event.

On the list, number 5 says you shouldn't leave your dog alone when fireworks or storms are about to occur. This is because, during these times, dogs might become fearful and worried, and being left alone can amplify these feelings.

To assist in alleviating your dog's anxiety, being in your company is the best thing. Provide your dog with a safe, comfortable area to stay. Give them toys and treats, or just cuddle with your dog to keep it occupied and redirect its attention away from the loud noises.

Ensure your dog has somewhere warm and dry to go if you must leave it alone during a storm or fireworks. A crate, a room, or even an outdoor location with a roof would all work.

Consider using natural remedies such as pheromone sprays, essential oils, or herbal supplements to help calm your dog.

We can try many natural remedies when it comes to calming our furry friends during stressful events like fireworks or thunderstorms. Using these, we can help our dogs feel more secure in their environment but always talk to your vet first

Here are some of them:  

  1. Pheromone sprays are popular because they mimic the natural calming pheromones that mother dogs release to soothe their puppies. 
  2. Essential oils. This can be diffused in the air or applied to your dog's collar, bedding, or bandana. Use them carefully because some essential oils can be toxic to dogs in large amounts.
  3. Lastly, herbal supplements such as chamomile, passionflower, and valerian root can calm dogs during stressful events. Capsules, pills, and liquid extracts are just some of the forms these supplements can take.

Consider using a thunder shirt to help reduce anxiety.

Have you heard about ThunderShirts for dogs?

They're pretty cool!

They're like a garment gently applying pressure to your dog's body. The idea behind it is that the pressure can calm your dog's nervous system, like swaddling a baby.

The cool thing is that the pressure from a ThunderShirt can help reduce anxiety in dogs by activating their parasympathetic nervous system. It can be good for helping reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and other responses of your dog to stress.

People often use ThunderShirts to help dogs who experience anxiety during natural disasters, thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud noises. They are also helpful for dogs with separation anxiety, travel anxiety, or other forms of stress.

Consult a veterinarian about medication options that can help calm your dog.

Talking to your vet might be a good idea if your dog gets anxious during thunderstorms or fireworks. They can recommend some medication to help your pup feel calmer. 

Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new supplements or medications to: 

  • determine the appropriate dosage
  • ensure your dog is healthy enough to take them
  • get advice on how to wean your dog off the medicine
  • receive a warning on potential adverse reactions.

Medication can help, but it's still recommended that you see a dog trainer before giving up on training or behavior modification.

Keep windows and curtains closed.

If your dog gets anxious during fireworks or thunderstorms, here's a tip - try closing windows and curtains! 

It can help reduce the noise and the bright flashes of light that can be scary for your furry friend. And don't forget to keep fresh water available - dogs can get dehydrated from stress, too.

Staying calm and relaxed during the event also helps keep your dog calm.

Dogs can sense their owner's emotions, that's why we must stay calm and relaxed during thunderstorms or fireworks. When our dogs sense our anxiety or stress, it can also make them feel more frightened and anxious. 

Try taking deep breaths or engaging in calming activities like meditation or yoga to help yourself relax. Maintaining a positive and reassuring tone when speaking to your dog is also essential. 

Do your best to avoid getting upset or furious with your dog if it is experiencing anxiety. Instead, cooperate to make the area more serene. Talk to someone you trust if you're having trouble keeping your cool.

Conclusion

As a pet owner, keeping your furry friend calm during fireworks and thunderstorms is essential. If your dog experiences terrible anxiety during these events, reaching out to a professional for personalized advice is always a good idea. But with some preparation and patience, you can help your dog feel calm and secure, no matter the weather outside!

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