Calming a Scared Dog: Fourth of July Edition

We have all likely experienced a scared dog and knowing how to calm them is difficult. It is especially important to keep them calm on holidays like the 4th of July when a dog is more likely to get lost due to fear of fireworks. Scared dog are more likely to jump a fence, run and get lost; harm themselves or others; or just be miserable. Fireworks and thunder are two major fear factors for a dog. So how do you keep them calm?


Dogs don’t understand the percussion feeling of fireworks and thunder. They don’t understand where the loud explosions are coming from and they don’t know why the sky is lighting up. It is our job to help them through these scary things.


The first thing I do for dogs on holidays like the 4th of July is feed them early and let them get the energy out during the day so they are more tired at night when the fireworks start.

Second is putting all the curtains down so they don’t have to experience the lighting up of the fireworks. If your curtains aren’t black-out curtains or they let in the light I would suggest leaving lights on, so they don’t notice the light changes as much.


Then I turn on music nice and loud, so they don’t hear the bangs of the fireworks. I wouldn’t suggest anything too crazy but something you enjoy that puts you in a good mood since dogs are able to sense your emotions and if you are anxious, they will be anxious.


And finally stay calm, play with them and enjoy the evening. As I said earlier, they know how you are feeling so make sure you are happy and enjoying your evening.


If you know your dog struggles with the holidays and thunderstorms it may also be time to consult your vet for an anti-anxiety medication that you can use on these harder times.


With so many dogs disappearing from their homes on the 4th of July it is important to remember if you find a lost dog to get them checked for a microchip at any local vet, post on Leigh’s Lost and Found on Facebook, use the Nextdoor app to post to your local neighbors and keep the dog safe and comfortable.


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