7 Tips For Calming Your Dog During Fireworks

June 17, 2024

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

More dogs go missing on July 4th-July 6th than any other time of year. Learn these tips for calming your dog this summer

Fireworks might be a dazzling display for us, but they can be intensely distressing for our furry friends. The sudden loud noises and bright flashes are often too much for dogs, causing them to feel scared and stressed. It’s difficult to see a beloved pet so upset, but thankfully, there are many ways you can help.

In this guide, we’ll talk you through the signs of stress in dogs and share practical tips for calming your dog during fireworks. From creating a comforting environment to using CBD calming dog treats and seeking professional help, we’ve got comprehensive strategies to ensure your dog stays as calm and comfortable as possible during the festivities.

Firework-Induced Stress

Australian Shepherd in 4th of July costume with sunglasses on. Using CBD for dogs during fireworks can help them relax.

Fireworks cause stress in dogs because of their acute hearing and sensitivity to loud noises. The unpredictable bursts of sound can startle dogs, triggering a fight-or-flight response. This reaction is a natural survival mechanism but can be distressing when there’s no apparent threat to escape from.

Common symptoms of stress during fireworks include shaking, hiding, barking excessively, and attempting to escape. Some dogs might pant heavily, drool, or pace nervously. Others might refuse to eat, seek constant reassurance from their owners, or refuse to come out of their hiding spots.

Unchecked stress can lead to issues such as increased fearfulness or aggression. It can also affect a dog’s physical health, leading to problems over time like a weakened immune system or digestive issues. Addressing and managing this stress is vital to keeping your dog healthy and happy, now and in the future.

Signs of Stress in Dogs

Dogs make their emotional discomfort known through physical signs and behavioral changes. Here are symptoms to watch for:

Physical Signs:

  • Trembling
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pacing

Behavioral Signs:

  • Seeking out small, enclosed spaces to feel safe
  • Barking more than usual
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Attempting to escape by scratching at doors or trying to jump over fences

Knowing these signs of stress can help you take action to calm your pet before their fear escalates. The tips below will help you calm your dog down during a stressful event and also provide ways to plan ahead to prevent or limit future problems.

7 Tips for Calming Your Dog During Fireworks

1. Desensitize Your Dog to Fireworks

One of the best ways to help your dog deal with fireworks is to desensitize them to the sound. Begin desensitizing your dog to the sound of fireworks several weeks before the fireworks event.

Play a video of fireworks to introduce the sound. Start it out at a low volume while engaging your dog in an enjoyable activity, such as playing with a toy or giving them treats. Gradually increase the volume so your dog becomes accustomed to the sound and associates it with positive interactions rather than fear.

By the time the real fireworks start, your dog will either not pay attention to them at all or, at the very least, experience a less intense reaction.

2. Work Off Excess Energy

A tired dog is generally a calm dog. To ensure your furry friend has no extra energy to panic over fireworks, use a combination of physical and mental engagement to wear them out.

Give your dog plenty of exercise before the fireworks start by going for a longer-than-usual walk or having an intense play session. Then, follow it up with a game or toy that requires them to problem solve using scent. Scent work, such as locating treats hidden around the house, requires a lot of mental energy for dogs and tends to wear them out quickly.

The best case scenario is your dog will be so tired they’ll sleep through the fireworks, and the worst case scenario is they will be less anxious than usual. That’s a win-win.

3. Make a Safe Haven

Yellow lab sleeping with owner and a bottle of Earth Buddy’s Sleep Support with CBN for dogs with fireworks anxiety.

Create a quiet, comfortable area where your dog can retreat during fireworks. Your pup likely already has a space they go to when scared, so this is a logical spot to use as a safe retreat. Ideally, the space should be as quiet as possible and somewhere your dog can’t see the fireworks.

Fill the space with their favorite toys, blankets, and items that have your scent. Your familiar scent activates the “reward response” in your dog’s brain, which can help them feel more relaxed. You can also play calming music or white noise to help create a serene atmosphere.

Creating a haven also includes being present for moral support, even if you have to awkwardly squeeze under a desk to do it. Your calm presence is a great source of comfort for your dog, and having you near can help them feel safer and more confident. Be sure to ignore the fireworks so your dog sees there’s nothing wrong.

4. Use CBD Oil for Dogs

Pink box of Earth Buddy’s Sleep Support Hemp Extract contains CBN for dogs with firework induced stress and also CBD oil.

There are a few natural remedies that can help calm a dog during fireworks. Earth Buddy offers dog-friendly CBD products that use full-spectrum hemp extract to gently promote relaxation. These solutions are made from hemp plants and interact with a dog’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood and stress responses. For a stronger calming effect during fireworks, consider using our Sleep Support 300mg with CBN for dogs with extreme firework stress.

Graphic showing results of Earth Buddy’s July 2022 study on how CBD oil for dogs can significantly reduce stress in July

In a study focused on CBD oil’s calming effects in dogs, 92% of pet owners agreed that full-spectrum CBD products effectively reduced their daily pet’s stress levels. And, unlike vet-prescribed medications commonly used to sedate stressed dogs, CBD oil for dogs doesn’t have lingering adverse effects like discoordination or lethargy.

When integrating CBD for pet stress, whether you opt for tasty CBD pet treats or tinctures, we recommend talking to your holistic veterinarian to get an idea of the best dosage for your dog’s weight and health history. CBD dosing is flexible, so you can start small, observe how your dog reacts, and make adjustments to find the perfect amount to help your dog stay calm and safe during stressful times.

5. Try a Pheromone Diffuser

Pheromone diffusers release synthetic versions of calming pheromones that dogs naturally produce. These diffusers mimic the pheromones that mother dogs emit to comfort their puppies, creating a sense of security and calm for your dog.

They can be particularly helpful in stressful situations like fireworks or thunderstorms, providing a non-invasive way to ease nervousness. A diffuser is simple to use — simply plug it into an outlet near the safe space you prepared, and it will continuously release calming pheromones to help your pup.

6. Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using scent to promote relaxation and well-being in dogs. Certain scents, like lavender and chamomile, are known for their calming properties and can be used to help reduce the severity of stress reactions. In one canine aromatherapy study, dogs that were exposed to the scent of lavender “spent significantly more time resting and sitting and less time moving and vocalizing.”

You can diffuse essential oils in the air or add them to your dog’s bedding. It’s important to introduce scents gradually and monitor your dog’s response, as some dogs may be sensitive to certain oils. Ensure the scents you choose are pet-safe and follow proper dilution guidelines to avoid adverse reactions.

7. Talk to a Professional

Black & white corgi using Earth Buddy’s full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs with stress from fireworks and thunderstorms.

Some dogs experience such extreme distress from fireworks that they’re at risk of harming themselves or the people around them. Here are signs that your dog suffers from severe stress:

  • You’ve tried the tips above without success.
  • They lick or bite an area of their body until it’s inflamed or bleeding.
  • The dog acts aggressively toward you or others.
  • Your dog engages in destructive behavior, such as tearing up furniture or obsessively scratching at a door to escape.

If you notice these signs, it may be time to contact a behaviorist or veterinarian. A professional can work with you to develop a plan tailored to your dog’s needs. This might include desensitization exercises, behavior modification training, or medication to help them cope with their stress in a safer, more controlled manner.

Mix and Match Tips to Find the Best Solution

White pitbull biting into Earth Buddy’s CBD dog treats to help reduce stress during fireworks & thunderstorms in July.

It would be nice if there was a single tip that worked perfectly to help your dog through times of stress, but it’s much more likely that a combination of tips from this list will provide the best results. For instance, desensitization training combined with CBD treats for dog stress has a higher chance of success than either of those individually. Mix and match our tips for calming your dog to find the combination that provides the most relief.



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