I used to love the Fourth of July. The fireworks were fun and we’d play with fire crackers and light up the sky at night. Today, I dread the Fourth of July. It’s great that we get the day off, but what about the day after? I stay up late, because of dogs and fireworks. Sydney isn’t a fan, Rodrigo gets really stressed out, and this will be Blue’s first experience. The fireworks start a few weeks before the Fourth and grow as the big day approaches. We give the dogs Rescue Remedy Pet Formula and sleep with the dogs in the living room, watching a movie and staying relaxed.
Get Lots of Exercise That Day
Michael S ~ We’ve taken our dog for a long/long/long walk (to wear her out), multiple walks so she doesn’t have a lot energy for the upcoming evening. We’ve turned on TV/Radio/Music in the house so the fireworks isn’t as LOUD (if we are not home) and kept her inside. If we are home, we’ve kept her around us and kept her on a ‘short leash.’ We’ve tried, even if we are home, to keep noise/music on around the house. Also during the evening (if we are home), we have taken her for a walk when the fireworks are going off.
Aubrey K ~ My Pembroke Corgi, Maggie, tends to bark at the fireworks on the Fourth of July each year all night long. They scare her and bit and she also simply doesn’t like the noise. To combat this, I started taking Maggie outside and playing ball with her before going to bed. She absolutely loves playing with the tennis ball, so it distracts her from the loud noises and also tires her out. After 20-25 minutes of running around, she goes straight to sleep in her bed without worrying about the fireworks. It has definitely helped us on the Fourth and with other loud noises (like my neighbor’s Harley Davidson motorcycle).
Linda M ~ Our dogs are really scared of the fireworks and get really anxious. We plan to take them for a long bike ride before it gets dark on the 4th so they will burn off all of their energy and help them be more relaxed. As we have done in past years, we plan to give them a very light dose of benadryl to help them relax and sleep. We make sure to keep all the blinds closed so they can’t see any flashes from fireworks and keep the TV or radio on to attempt to muffle the sounds. We also make sure the kennels are in the same room with them and that they have access to them if they want to feel more secure.
Turn the Volume Up
Steve G ~ Super Teddy doesn’t necessarily get scared, but can be a barking machine when he wants to be. He probably thinks it is a GIGANTIC brown UPS truck in the driveway (his favorite target). We typically increase the volume of the sounds to which he is accustomed (TV or radio), run the air conditioner, and try to keep him otherwise occupied. We do have a Thunder-Shirt for him, which sometimes helps.
Laurie C ~ We have had Lucky since the Fourth of July 1999. We found her that night as we were driving home from a Fourth of July fireworks show. She was running down the middle of the road, scared to death. To this day, she is still afraid of fireworks. In our house whenever there are fireworks, we make sure she has access to the place in the house she feels most comfortable and we provide her with a long lasting chew treat. We also leave the television on louder than normal so that she can’t hear the outside noise as much.
Give Your Dog Something Else to Focus On
Susan S ~ My dog gets mesmerized and very distracted from everything with spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream. During the loudest times I get out the can of whip cream and time the whip cream spurts with the fireworks….she thinks its highly amusing!
Keep Your Dog Close for Comfort
Sherry F ~ The Sheriff is very sensitive to all of the noise. So we just get in bed and watch the Boston Pops Concert and he is right beside us . He feels safe. All is good for him.
Amelia L ~ My Keeshond, Nala, gets pretty scared around 4th of July weekend. I live in Los Angeles, so there tends to be a lot of fireworks going off for what seems like all night. Nala is usually an outdoor dog, but on the 4th, we tend to let her inside and have her lay down in the living room with us. The background sound of the TV usually seems to mask some the firework noise, and we try to take Nala for a walk or two during the day so she’s a bit tired by the time the fireworks go off. We make sure she has plenty of water and we also don’t decorate our house or burn candles on the 4th so that our home is a safe environment for our dog.
Crystal T ~ Hi! Our dog Cotton, a bichon frise, was terrified of fireworks. What really worked for us was keeping him confined to one room and never leaving him alone during the fireworks. We made sure that he could see us and know we were there and we held him a lot and soothed him during the fireworks. When he started shaking too bad, we would give him a vet approved dose of benadryl.
Marsha W ~ Our dog only recently became agitated and fearful of thunderstorms. I believe that her reactions are directly related to the intense firework productions that our neighbors have on holidays. The noise is incredibly loud and goes on for two to three hours. I think she cannot discern the difference now between fireworks and thunder and lightning. When thunderstorms happen in the middle of the night, the only thing that calms and soothes our dog now is to go into a closet that has no windows with a large blanket and pillow and try to go to sleep with her. She cannot see the lightning, and the clothes in the closet seem to muffle the thunder sufficiently to quiet her. It’s not at all comfortable for me, but at least she is calmer. So, I’m sure we’ll be treated to another extravaganza on the Fourth, and that’s my plan – to go into the closet!
Lindsey C ~ My dog, Buddy, is a scaredy cat (dog?) when it comes to any type of loud noises and fireworks are his worst fear. He shivers like crazy and keeps his head way down. The best way I have found to comfort him is to just sit with him, gently brush or pet him and speak in a calm tone to him. This doesn’t relieve his anxiety entirely, but it definitely helps him feel better.
Try the Thundershirt
Emilie Y ~ We bought Sammie a Thundershirt! It calms dogs down in thunderstorms and when fireworks start popping around this time of year. She is so much calmer and doesn’t hide in the closet anymore to avoid the noise. It really does work for her, and if it works for such a skittish dog, I can only imagine it would work for others.
Kathleen B ~ I recently purchased a Thundershirt for my “nerves of steel” Black Lab mix, Sookie! Ironically, although it has rained, it has not thundered since I received it last week (but of course), so I’m not sure what success she will have with it as of yet!
Throw a Party for the Dogs!
At Hendrick Boards, David Hendrickson, Founder/CEO, throws a July 4th dog party for all employees. Hendrick Boards is an apparel and skateboard company that gives back to local animal shelters, rescues and sanctuaries across the US. All employees have their own rescues dogs so it is fitting that David leads the effort to give dogs a stress-free environment by hosting a dog party on the 4th of July. At the dog party, David will be having dog-friendly activities including making/baking dog treats, toss the ball and other games and music to sound out the throngs of fireworks.