Omaha only recently allowed fireworks to be sold within city limits — and only during the 10 days leading up to the Fourth of July. There are tented fireworks stands set up in nearly every shopping center parking lot, which means that my neighbors (and their teenage children!) have access to enough fireworks to last through August.
Can you detect the hint of annoyance in my tone? I have no problem if you want to set off fireworks in your backyard to celebrate the Fourth of July, but when it becomes a nightly occurrence, the novelty starts to wear off. Explosions are not my favorite sound. Plus, the noise is a constant threat to my sleeping children.
We’re lucky, though, that Briscoe isn’t phased by fireworks, as fear of fireworks is very common in dogs. Most dogs will cower in the corner when the booming begins, but some dogs get so riled up that they tear through screen door, dig under fences, or chew through their crates. Did you know that more dogs are lost on the fourth of July than any other day?
If your dog is afraid of fireworks, here are a seven ways to help ease his anxiety:
- Take an extra long walk or engage your dog in vigorous exercise. He may be less able to concentrate on the fireworks if he’s exhausted.
- Drown out loud fireworks with soothing music or white noise. You could also try Mutt Muffs, noise-reducing headphones created for dogs flying in airplanes.
- Keep your curtains and blinds closed and your lights on to lessen your dog’s ability to see flashes of light outside.
- Give aromatherapy a shot. Many dogs find lavender and pine to be especially relaxing scents.
- Talk to your vet about using the natural supplement melatonin to keep your dog calm.
- Dress your dog in a snug-fitting Thundershirt, designed to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Create a safe place for your dog to hide and offer lots of love and sympathy.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!