Updated: Nov 14
Independence Day is just around the corner! Here in Cape May County, viewing fireworks from the beach is a summer tradition for many but how do our pets feel about the noisy celebrations?
What Makes Fireworks So Scary?
While colorful explosions may be an exciting way to celebrate for us humans, the flashing lights and thunderous booms cause anxiety for animals. Fireworks are loud and unpredictable which leads many dogs to perceive them as a threat. This triggers their fight-or-flight response. Your dog may bark at the noise, run and hide, or show signs of anxiety such as panting, pacing, or whining. Many dog owners notice barking, howling, shaking, and frantic behavior during firework displays.
More pets run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. It's important to ensure your pet is easily identifiable in order for people to contact you in the event of an escape. Make sure your dogs ID tags and microchip information are up to date well before the holiday.
Helping Your Furry Friends Cope
The loud noise is inescapable to a dogs super sensitive ears, but there are a few things we can do to help them get through it.
Exercise Your Dog
Take your dog for a long walk before sunset. This will help them sleep through the noise and prevent them from needing a potty break during the fireworks.
Keep Your Dog Inside
If you're unsure how your pet will react near a fireworks display, it's best to keep them safe at home. Your dog may be used to spending all day outside, but running off in fear could put them in danger.
Create A Safe Space
The goal is to create a comfortable, calming environment for your pet. If your dog is crate trained, have their crate available with extra bedding. Try setting up a quiet space away from windows and provide them with familiar toys, blankets, and chews.
Drown Out The Sounds
Play music or have the TV on for background noise. Fans and AC units can also help mask the sound of fireworks.
Comfort Your Dog
The key here is to stay calm. It's important to use a soothing, even tone when talking to your dog. Long, slow strokes along the length of their body can be very comforting for them.
Talk To Your Vet
Your vet may be able to prescribe medication if your pet's anxiety is severe. You can also ask your vet about over the counter calming treats.
Enjoying 4th of July Weekend
If you decide to go out, or can't be home during the fireworks, consider asking a friend or family member to comfort your dog while you're away. Another reliable option is to hire a professional pet sitter for a companion visit. There are so many great places to view the fireworks here in Cape May County Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!