Fireworks and Dog Safety

July is almost here and that means fireworks are just around the corner. While I personally love to watch firework displays and have been known to shoot a bottle rocket from time to time, my poor dogs DO NOT LIKE THEM. In fact, at the first pop of a Black Cat, my older dog Bonnie skedaddles straight to my closet.

dog wearing star bandana in front of American flag

more pets get lost between July 4th and 6th

than at any other time of year.

Do you have a scaredy-pup in your home? It's not fun for you or them. BUT, there are things you can do to help prepare your pup for what's coming and also to keep them safe during the upcoming holiday.

pitbull in front of American flag wearing bandana

Keep Your Dogs Away From Fireworks and Bring Them Indoors

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your dog is scared of fireworks even a backyard fence might not hold them from bolting. The safest thing you can do is to bring your dog inside during the holiday festivities.

Make Sure Your Dog is Tagged and Micro-chipped

The worst-case scenario is that your dog gets scared and runs away. If that happens, then their lifeline will be the ID tags on their collar AND a registered, up-to-date microchip. Getting your dog microchipped is one of the best ways to recover your pet - but make sure you register your chip online and keep your contact information current! It only take a few minutes to check your microchip information online and make sure it is correct!

Create a Safe Space For Your Dog Indoors

As I mentioned before, my dog Bonnie goes straight for the back of my closet when thunder or fireworks start. Your dog might not want a closet refuge, but it is a good idea to identify a haven where your dog can retreat.

Dogs are den animals, so a cave-like area - like a closet or a dog kennel - would help them feel safe. Create this safe space indoors, away from windows (closing the curtains helps too!). Make sure you have treats on hand and familiar toys or blankets. Of course, some dogs just might just prefer to sit next to you on the couch.

One thing to keep in mind is to allow them access to this haven - but don't lock them in. Give your dog the ability to move around your home and find where he/she is most comfortable to wait out the activities.

Play White Noise

Have some background noise on in the house to help drown out the firework popping noises. TV noise, music or even a fan on will help out a lot! Pro Tip: slow, classical music has been shown to help reduce anxiety in dogs.

Comfort Your Dog

It is absolutely fine to comfort your dog if they are scared. Sit in the closet with them or have them near you on the couch. Slowly petting the length of their body and speaking in low tones will help soothe their anxiety. At all times be calm and reassuring.

scruffy dog wearing bandana in front of American flag

Additional Tips

Here are a few more tips that can help:

  • Take your dog on a long walk earlier in the day. Exercise is a great way to help relax a dog in general, but especially on days where there will be lots of unusual noises and activities happening. Just make sure you have them on a secure collar/harness & leash AND wearing their ID tags - just in case someone in your neighborhood starts celebrating with fireworks early.
  • If your dog's anxiety is really bad, talk to your veterinarian. They might be able to prescribe a medication that will help.

I hope this helps you to prep for a safe and happy holiday

Around the Circle...

This blog is part of a pet photography blog circle featuring photographic artists from around the world. Next up: Atlanta dog photographer Courtney Bryson isn't sure when everyone decided that our dogs had to be perfect before we were worthy of having photographs of them - but she's ready to photograph perfect dogs.