- Starting a few weeks before the fireworks, let’s start listening to fireworks noises at low volume.
- You can find fireworks noises on Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube, or use the Pup School app ($3.99).
- Give me a stuffed kong or other long-lasting chew treat, use a speaker, and start playing the noises at the lowest volume possible. If I notice the noise, tell me what a brave dog I am and continue doing your normal everyday activities. If I don’t even notice the noise, that’s great!
- Turn off the fireworks noise after 10 – 20 minutes.
- If I was relaxed and not even noticing the noises at the volume we used in the last session, increase the volume slightly for the next session. If not, repeat the session at the same level as the previous session.
- Make sure my tags and microchip info is up to date. (And make sure I have my collar on.)
- Don’t leave me outside or home alone on Scary Fireworks Night.
According to the ASPCA, July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters. Stay home with me to ensure that I stay comfortable.
- Turn the TV on to the fireworks channel, so that it seems like the sound is just coming from the TV.
I am afraid of sounds that I cannot orient. It can help if I think that the noises are actually just coming from the TV.
- When the fireworks get loud, if I get scared, let’s have a slumber party in a safe spot.
I might choose a good spot myself, but you might find a good one ahead of time as a back-up. Try an interior room or space with no windows, such as a bathroom, in a closet, under a bed, or even in an under-sink cabinet. Make it into a great den like this:
- Add my favorite bed and blankets.
- Be there – literally – for me!
Bring a floor pillow, yoga mat, or low chair and sit with me. Be calm and reassuring when you talk to me, and remind me how brave I am.
- Let’s have a picnic!
Bring a kong or my favorite long-lasting chew and a bowl of water for me, and a snack for yourself.
- Entertainment – either the TV with fireworks noises or another noise to mask the fireworks.
You can try talk radio or the collection of classical music that’s played at a tempo that is scientifically proven to calm animals, called Through a Dog’s Ear.
- Be ready to camp out there for the night, since fireworks sometimes continue until the early hours.