What should you do if your dog is afraid of fireworks? Today is New Years Eve, and you know there will be fireworks everywhere. So what should you do for your dog who is afraid of fireworks?
Keep them inside.
The only way to make sure they are truly safe during the fireworks is to make sure they stay inside. If this means that you need to feed them early so they don't need to go potty after dark, so be it. If this means restricting (not eliminating, though) water so they don't ask to go out after dark, please do! Only let your dog outside tonight in an emergency.
2. Keep away from windows.
Part of your dog's fireworks anxiety comes from the flashing lights of fireworks. Keep them away from windows to eliminate this part of the fear.
3. Long exercise session before dark
The best way to make sure they are the least affected by the fireworks is to make sure they are tired. Go for a long walk or a heavy play session before dark so they are tired by the time fireworks start. They will be less affected by the fireworks, and hopefully will sleep through most of it.
4. Kennel or put in an isolated room (basement if you have one!)
The further away from the fireworks sounds, the better. Yes, they are dogs and will likely still hear them, but if they are muffled they are less likely to scare your dog as much. Many dogs see their kennel as a safe space, and as a bonus they won't be able to hide in unappealing spots because they are "already hiding". Put a blanket over the kennel for added "safety". If this is not an option, an isolated room is second-best (again, basement if you have one). Remove anything you don't wish them to hide in or destroy if they are extreme cases.
5. Turn on the radio, tv, or other white noise
Drown out the sound of the fireworks by putting on the tv for them. Ask Alexa to play some white noise. Classical music helps many animals relax. Give them something else to listen to besides the fireworks.
6. Give them something to chew
Give them their favorite bone or other chew toy. Bully sticks, benebones, etc. are all great choices. Give them something they are passionate about chewing. Chewing is a major stress reliever for dogs, and it can help them focus on something else.
7. CBD, Thunder Shirts, or Lavender Scents
In extreme cases, you may need just a little extra. CBD treats can be given about an hour before dark to settle in and should help your dog gain that extra bit of relaxation in addition to the other tips listed above. Thunder Shirts are also a good addition, as the hug of the shirt feels safe to many animals and can curb their anxiety. Lavender scents are a natural anxiety-curber and many people have this readily available in their homes. A lavender candle, essential oils, a blanket washed with lavender scented detergent or softener, whatever you can find.
8. Collars and Tags!!
The most important thing is that your dog has their collar on with tags that are up to date. If somehow your dog gets out, someone may find your dog. If your dog has no tags, they will (hopefully) be sent to the humane society, so please check there the next day! Better to have your baby back ASAP with their tags!