The Fourth of July is summer’s biggest holiday, and most of us look forward to spending time with friends and family, lots of food, and of course, fireworks. But while our favorite holiday traditions can be great fun for people, you might be wondering, “Can I take my dog to see fireworks?” Unfortunately, these patriotic festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for our furry family members. It can be hard to keep your dog calm during the fireworks displays common on the 4th of July.
According to the American Humane Association, more pets go missing during the 4th of July celebrations than at any other time. July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters. Pets can be traumatized after fireworks and run off into the night.
So, how to know if your dog is scared of fireworks? While not all dogs are afraid of fireworks, nearly 40% may suffer from noise sensitivity. Thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, even a car backfiring can trigger the “fight or flight” reaction that causes stress.
Common signs of noise sensitivity are:
- Licking their lips
- Putting back their ears
If you see any of these signs, your dog may be suffering from noise sensitivity.
The good news is, even if your dog is afraid of loud noises, you can still enjoy the holiday celebrations and keep your dog calm during fireworks. Read on to learn how to prepare your pooch for the big event as well as how to use CBD to calm dogs while July 4th Fireworks are happening.
Safe and Sound
From the AKC to The Kennel Club to Hill’s, websites abound with ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks on July 4th. Here are some of the best tips for you and your dog.
Leave Your Pets at Home
As much as you’d like to take your best friends along, it’s best to leave them at home in a safe space when you go to fireworks and other festivities. Loud noises, unfamiliar places, strange smells, and large crowds can be very frightening to your pets.
In these situations, they are at a greater risk of getting scared and running away. Even if your dog is pretty chill and doesn’t usually seem afraid of crowds or noises, animals can be spooked when you least expect it. It is never a good idea to force them to be somewhere that makes them afraid or anxious.
Make a Safe Space
The safest place for your pet is at home in a closed, quiet, and familiar room. Provide a comfortable place to rest by putting out their soft bed, blanket, or crate, and turn on a TV, radio, or fan to provide white noise and help muffle loud sounds from outside. Give them their favorite toys to play with to distract them, and consider taking them for an extra-long walk during the day to burn off excess energy. Make sure they have lots of fresh water to drink, as they can pant excessively when nervous, and spoil them with a tasty treat made with calming ingredients.
If your dog is overly afraid of fireworks, have someone in the room to pet and soothe them when they are anxious. If your dog hides, don’t force them out of a safe space, ignore them, or scold them for their fearful behavior. They look to you for comfort and will be calmer if you are with them, acting like everything is okay.
Provide and Update Proper ID
Make sure your pets – both cats and dogs – have identification tags with your current information, including name, address, and telephone number. If your pet gets lost, this is his or her best chance at returning home!
And even with proper tags, which can get lost or removed, make sure your pet is microchipped, and that all your contact information is up to date with the microchip registry. Any pet that is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary facility will automatically be scanned for a microchip, so keeping your contact information current is vital to being reunited with your pet.
Keep Them Safe Outdoors
If you must be outside with your pets during your holiday festivities, be sure to have them securely on a leash. It’s also important to remember that too much sun and heat can be dangerous, even in a short amount of time.
Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot or humid, make sure they have access to shade and fresh, plentiful water, and know the signs that a pet may be overheating. Do not leave pets alone outdoors, even if they are in a fenced yard. And never leave them tied up outside. Dogs will do anything to escape if they are frightened enough and can cause serious or even life-threatening injury to themselves.
Desensitize the Sound of Fireworks
Softly playing firework sounds for your dog in preparation for the big day might be helpful. In an attempt to counter-condition your dog, try giving them treats as they are being played. The volume should be low enough where they aren’t showing any signs of stress but loud enough where they are able to clearly hear the fireworks. This puts your dog in the perfect learning place to desensitize them to the loud booms of firework displays.
Be Aware of Hidden Dangers
Even if you don’t plan to be around any loud fireworks displays, many of the things you use to celebrate pose a serious danger to your pet. Glow jewelry, fireworks, matches, lighter fluid, citronella candles, insect repellents, and tiki torch products are dangerous to pets.
Ingestion or even skin exposure to these items can cause everything from irritation and allergic reactions to severe gastrointestinal distress to central nervous system depression or aspiration pneumonia. Pets can be very curious and play with or get into almost anything, so be vigilant to keep them safe.
Consider Using CBD to Calm Dogs
Now that you know your furry friend will be safer and happier away from the festivities, you might also want to consider, “What can I give my dog to calm him down from fireworks?” You can try CBD for a little extra comfort and care if your dog is afraid of fireworks.
If you’ve used CBD yourself, or know someone who has, you are probably aware that many people find it helpful when dealing with stress themselves. But did you know CBD offers the same benefits to pets as well? The natural calming properties of CBD make it a great option for your pets during July 4th firework displays. cbdMD offers more than one method to give your dog calming CBD. You can choose from chew treats or tinctures.
The market abounds with CBD products for pets, and some are specifically made to promote calm, like Paw CBD Calming Oil Tincture or Paw CBD Calming Soft Chews. Both products are veterinarian-formulated with naturally soothing ingredients like melatonin and chamomile combined with Superior Broad Spectrum CBD to support a sense of calm and help manage signs of common daily stress. Paw CBD Calming Chews were even recognized as a Pet Business Magazine Top Product in 2019!
Paw CBD offers a full line of premium hemp-derived oil tinctures and chews – for both dogs and cats – that will help you keep your dog calm during fireworks.
Paw CBD from cbdMD
The Paw line at cbdmMD offers your pet calming wellness support in stressful situations, A.K.A. fireworks. You can make the CBD experience quite enjoyable for them as well with our mouthwatering flavors. From peanut butter tinctures to turkey chews, your dog will be licking his chops!
While Paw CBD Calming products are formulated for dogs, cats can benefit from CBD products, calming or otherwise, as well. If your kitty has noise aversion or is easily stressed out, feel free to try any of our Paw CBD products with them as well.
Originally written by: Cami Cacciatore