Independence Day can be a stressful holiday for dogs due to the noise of fireworks going off. While there is little you can do to prevent the cause of the anxiety, there is much you can do to help manage your dog’s reaction.
• Be proactive. Find out when towns in your area will be having their official celebrations. As that time approaches, close your windows to reduce the noise, and turn on the TV, radio, or A/C to create background sounds.
• Consider a calming product that can be given ahead of time. Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets is one option. Your vet may prescribe something stronger if it is warranted.
• Consider an anxiety wrap. Dogs are comforted by the light pressure the coat provides.
• If your dog heads for a safe haven during the fireworks, let him stay. Dogs may be comforted by hiding under the bed, in the tub, or in cabinets. As long as that spot is safe and you can keep an eye on him, let the dog stay.
• Most importantly, resist the urge to cuddle, pet, or comfort the dog while he is expressing signs of anxiety. Attention to the dog while he is in this state is a reinforcement of the behavior, and may make future anxious reactions even worse.