Kids (and kids at heart) all look forward to staying up late and watching fireworks over the summer. But dogs? Not so much. Those loud booms, pops and crackles are enough to make them beeline it for a spot under the bed. Since animals don’t understand that the noise and bursts of light are for July 4th celebrations, fireworks can feel unexpected and downright terrifying for pets. Signs of distress may include shaking, pacing, panting, hiding, crawling into your lap (even when they’re 80 pounds!), or engaging in destructive behavior. Pro tip: Hide your favorite shoes! Here are some simple tips to ease your dog’s anxiety during fireworks:

Every family’s pet journey looks a little different, but one thing remains the same: We all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. Hill’s provides science-backed nutrition for every age, size and need and makes it easier to support your pet’s needs. Learn more about how Hill’s helps pet owners stay a step ahead. 

Stay Inside

The sounds from fireworks may feel like a threat, and your anxious pup doesn’t know where to flee if his natural “fight or flight” response is triggered. That’s why it’s important to keep dogs inside during fireworks, so you don’t risk him running away from home in an attempt to get away from the noise. Make sure his collar, with correct contact information, is on just in case you have an escape artist on your hands! Avoid bringing your dog to a firework show, especially if you don’t know how he’ll react when seeing fireworks among a crowd. 

Stay Close By

Your dog will feel better being close to you—a reassuring, familiar presence. If you won’t be home during a fireworks session, arrange for your pooch to stay with a trusted pet sitter or family member so he’s not alone during a stressful time.

Set Up a Safe, Cozy Space

Cuddle up on the couch with blankets and toys, guide him to his crate if that’s where he likes to curl up, or consider hanging out in a smaller room of the house (with the door closed) where the noise won’t feel so threatening. Keep windows and doors shut during fireworks. Closing the blinds also helps dim the startling lights.

Drown Out the Noise

Play calming music, an audiobook or other soothing ambient noise to help minimize the sensory overload from fireworks. There are tons of playlists online made just for dogs! Aside from fireworks, pup-approved music really comes in handy as a technique to handle other bouts of fear, including separation anxiety. 

Dress for Success

Some dogs (and cats!) respond really well to wearing a Thundershirt. This snug wrap works much like an infant swaddle by applying gentle pressure to calm anxiety from fireworks, thunderstorms, travel, vet visits and more. 

Every family’s pet journey looks a little different, but one thing remains the same: We all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. Hill’s provides science-backed nutrition for every age, size and need and makes it easier to support your pet’s needs. Learn more about how Hill’s helps pet owners stay a step ahead. 

Talk to Your Vet about Treatment

Some dogs benefit from medication during high-stress times. There are over-the-counter pheromone sprays, chews or prescription medications for severe cases. Ask your veterinarian about options for your dog if you’re concerned.

Keep Calm and Carry On!

Act normal around your pet during fireworks. Play together and provide treats for good behavior. Your dog will pick up on your mood cues and feel secure.

Every family’s pet journey looks a little different, but one thing remains the same: We all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. Hill’s provides science-backed nutrition for every age, size and need and makes it easier to support your pet’s needs. Learn more about how Hill’s helps pet owners stay a step ahead.