Dogs and Fireworks: Managing Your Dog’s Fear

Laura Nativo

Dog with fear of fireworks

Fear of fireworks (and other loud noises) is common for pets. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to help desensitize your dog to these, check out our article on tips for relieving fireworks anxiety. If your pet, like many other pets, is still fearful no matter what you do – there’s still hope! The steps in the training article provide a wonderful foundation to help your dog learn to associate fireworks with good feelings, but some dogs may still be afraid, and that’s reasonable. By thoughtfully considering your dog's needs during frightening times, you can help alleviate some of their anxiety.

Safe Space

During thunderstorms or fireworks shows, create a safe environment for your pup. This space could even be in their crate if they’re most comfortable there. Try to put them in a room with no windows, or darken the windows with a curtain, and have the air conditioner running instead of having windows open. Maybe put on some low music or leave the TV on for some background noise. Try running the dishwasher or washing machine if your pet is used to that sound. Wherever you decide, please do not leave your dog in the yard unattended! Be sure that every door, window, and perimeter gate is secured with a lock.

Soothing Embrace

Give your dog all the snuggles and love that you can the day of. Play their favorite game, do training exercises, do anything that will make them happy. Comforting your dog will not make their fear any worse – make sure to leave them feeling content. If your dog is nervous around fireworks and you absolutely can’t stay home with them, consider hiring a pet sitter to watch a movie with them and keep them company.

Prepare to Party

If you’re going out for the 4th of July, make sure to check that your dog is secured and that their ID tags are on and up-to-date. Confirm their microchip records are up to date. Put them in their safe space with music, TV, A/C, the washer – any familiar sound for them turned up to a reasonable volume. Consider using a calming collar or ThunderShirt® if your dog is exceptionally fearful.

Don’t Be Discouraged

There are some dogs who have extreme fear, anxiety, and hypersensitivity to sound. These dogs may become destructive when fear turns to panic. If your dog shows signs of extreme stress (shaking, heavily panting, scratching at their crate or door, etc.), your dog may benefit from holistic or prescription medicines to help ease their stress levels. Please talk to a qualified general practice vet or veterinary behaviorist well in advance. Regardless of whether you use a holistic method or a prescription drug, do a trial run to make sure that your dog doesn’t have a negative reaction to the medicine.

Did you know holistic methods are even reimbursable under Embrace’s Wellness Rewards plan? Please consider your dogs’ well-being, and make considerations for them well in advance. Never expose your dog to fireworks unless you trust that they are emotionally prepared. And always reach out to your veterinarian if you have questions about best practices for coping with pet fear.

While you can't predict when your pet is going to get sick or injured, you can protect yourself from expensive veterinary bills. Embrace Pet Insurance gives you the freedom to do what’s best for your pet without stressing over the cost. Easily personalize your coverage to fit your budget and your pet’s needs, then visit any vet for nose-to-tail coverage. Check out what the Embrace plan covers or compare pet insurance providers to learn more.

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2016 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.