For humans, July 4 is a fun annual holiday celebrated with friends, fireworks, BBQs, days at the beach, beers, and beyond. But for our fur babies, the festivities aren't quite so magical — certain dogs are overwhelmed by large groups of people, while others are terrified of fireworks. Luckily, though, there are various precautions you can take to keep your dog calm on July 4, from CBD supplements to weighted vests, so you can both enjoy the quintessential summertime holiday.
Dogs' hearing is four times as sensitive as humans', according to Psychology Today, so it comes as no surprise that fireworks aren't really an enjoyable experience for their adorably floppy ears. The loud noises, combined with the unpredictability of fireworks, can trigger a fight-or-flight response, causing them to run away, hide, or to feel incredibly anxious. That said, headphones can be incredibly helpful for protecting their ears, if you can hear fireworks from your house.
Chewy sells little hoodies that comfortably go over their ears — and in addition to protecting their hearing — they'll feel comforted being swaddled. Beyond that, your pup will look seriously adorable, so you'll ultimately both benefit from this undeniably cute puppy accessory.
Weighted vests or "thunder shirts"
If your dog is afraid of thunder, they're most likely afraid of fireworks, too — and if that's the case, your fur baby will definitely benefit from a weighted vest or "thunder shirt," like the one above. You'll put it on your pup kind of like a harness, and then adjust it to apply the correct amount of pressure. This will make their whole body feel swaddled, similar to how you feel when you're lying under a weighted blanket.
At this point, you've probably heard of CBD dog treats — with permission from a vet, many pet parents give their dogs CBD supplements to calm them down, and to mitigate various anxieties. In addition to effectively curbing anxiety, Terra Vita uses pet-healthy ingredients such as Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, to improve immune, heart, and coat health, and it contains omega-3s. Just consult your pet's veterinarian beforehand.
If your pet enjoys their crate, encourage them to go inside of it to lie down — but consider leaving the door open so they don't feel trapped. According to Kansas State University, you can cover the crate with a blanket, which may make them feel more secure and also block out some of the noise. If you have access to a basement, many pets might prefer having their crate down there, where the noise is quieter and the flashes of light can be completely blocked out.
Create a soothing environment
Mercury News suggests creating a "soothing vibe" in your home — play chill music, lower the blinds or close the curtains to block out the fireworks, and consider also playing either a TV or radio to drown out the sound. Speaking to your pup in a calm "meditation" voice may also soothe them. You can also give them a bully stick or kong filled with peanut butter, to keep them preoccupied.