How to help your dog if they’re scared of fireworks

We all get excited about fireworks around the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve. But some of our pups don't always share our anticipation. Here are a couple of reminders for soothing your dog if they're afraid of fireworks.

Make sure they can't get out.

The first things dogs do when fireworks are going off is try to get away from the noise. Animal control officials say there’s 30 to 60 percent increase in lost pets between July 4-6 each year. So make sure they’re either secure inside the house, or that they have no way to get out of the fence.

Keep them calm when you're home.

If you’re staying inside when the fireworks are going off, create a comforting environment for your dog. Either crate them or play some soothing music. Or just let them lay in your lap and pet them.

Make a plan for them if you're leaving them alone.

If you’re heading out to catch a show, make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible before you leave. Try giving them a treat or their favorite toy as a distraction.

Try soothing blankets or clothes.

Things like Thundershirts can help your dog stay calm if they get nervous. If you don’t want to purchase one, there are DIY options as well.

Use medication if necessary.

If you have absolutely no other options or you live next to a place that hosts a firework show, consider talking with your vet about the medication options for your dog.

Related content: What determines a firework’s colors?

If your pup is anything like my dog, she may dart straight at the spewing firework fountain, pick it up and run around the yard with it. Not cool!

Whether you dog is terrified or excited by fireworks, it's safest to keep them out of the way. You've probably been smacked by falling firework debris before, so you know it's not fun. Keep your pups safe and comfortable before your light show.