Dogs and Fireworks

Can CBD help your pet on the 4th of July?

By Melena Gurganus
Martin Castro

We’re all familiar with the booming sound and bright flashes of colorful fireworks that are a staple for celebrating the Fourth of July. But in our moments of celebration, some animals can feel extremely anxious or scared when fireworks start to go off. So while we may be enjoying the firework shows on Independence Day, these low-grade explosions can seem quite threatening to an animal that has no idea what is going on, or why it’s happening.

Are dogs afraid of fireworks?

Plenty of animals can develop a fear of fireworks, but dogs in particular seem to have a lot of anxiety towards them. The loud and unpredictable nature of fireworks can cause an animal’s fight or flight response to be triggered, which may cause them run away, and can pose a great risk for pet owners if their dog is outside with them.

This kind of behavior is well-known by Animal Control Services, where they see a 30 percent increase in lost pets during July 4th through the 6th, which is more so than any other day in the year. Because of the increased risk that one may lose their pet during 4th of July weekend festivities, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on your dog if fireworks start to go off.

How do I calm my dog down during fireworks?

If you’re a pet owner, it’s important to take into consideration how your dog may respond in a situation with fireworks, and what you can do to prepare. Here are a few tips that can help your dog feel less anxious during the Fourth of July holiday celebrations:

  • Make your dog feel safe—It’s important that your dog is in a safe space, where they can feel less threatened by the sound of fireworks. This may be their crate, a bedroom, or anywhere inside of their home.
  • Try CBD—For a natural anxiety reliever, CBD oil or CBD-infused dog treats may be a good option. Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular supplement for pets to help them calm down in stressful situations.
  • Use an anxiety vest—For some dogs, a calming vest may work to soothe them when the fireworks start. These garments apply gentle pressure around the torso, which can help comfort a dog.
  • Act as normal as possible—Your dog feeds off of your energy, and he can sense if you are acting differently. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, try to keep a calming, positive tone when talking to your dog and go about your normal activities.
  • Keep your dog inside—Since dogs may feel the need to run away from fireworks, it’s best to keep them inside to ensure they cannot run off outdoors and potentially get lost.

While not all dogs have a fear of fireworks, it’s still a good idea to take the proper precautions that will ensure your pet stays safe and sound. Also, just because your dog has not previously been afraid of fireworks, this does not mean that a fear cannot form. Before taking your dog out this Fourth of July, exercise caution and avoid over stimulating situations that may make him feel uncomfortable or frightened.

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