dog stressed and anxious from fourth of july fireworks

Does your dog shriek, cower, or cause general destruction when fireworks begin to light up the night sky on the 4th of July and the following nights?

Have you grown tired and bitter about this country's time-honored tradition because of how it negatively affects your anxious pet? 

With a few simple tips and help from pet-friendly supplements, you can take back your holiday evening, enjoy the festivities, and help your pet stay calm during this year’s 4th of July fireworks!

Step 1: Exercise your dog

Ensure you are giving your dog an extra long work-out before the fireworks begin. The more tuckered-out they are going into the evening, the less energy they will have to pour into rebelling against the loud noises. 

Step 2: Create a safe place for your dog

This is going to be different for every dog. Some feel safest inside a crate, under the bed, or in their owner’s arms. Make sure this safe space is available for them during the fireworks, as it can help provide a sense of comfort during heightened distress. 

If your dog is happiest in your lap but you can't be home during the peak of the fireworks, find out where they typically spend their time when you're gone. This is most likely their second-most safe space, so make sure this area is available for them. 

Step 3: Play some background noises 

Running some soothing music, a noise machine, or a quiet talk show around their safe space may help to distract them from the noises outside and diffuse the shock of the loud bangs. 

Vet Tip

Try searching for “calming music for dogs” online. There are hours of free compositions available that are specially designed to help soothe your pet.

Step 4: Positive vibes only! 

Ensure you are staying calm throughout the evening, even if your pet begins to get agitated. Dogs are very perceptive animals, and often mirror the mood of their owner (it’s what makes them such great emotional support animals).

If you let your own anxiety show, that can likely be a trigger for your dog’s own anxieties. By remaining calm and collected yourself, your dog will be more likely to mirror your non reactiveness. It will help them to learn that fireworks are not a threat, and therefore less inclined to bark or cry. 

Step 5: Physical touch and massage 

For many dogs, a calming touch from their human is the best anxiety relief. Ensure you are regularly checking in with your dog, giving it plenty of snuggles, and being generous with your reassuring pats. 

Similar to humans, dogs also hold stress in their muscles – which makes massage a great tool for promoting relaxation. Lightly applying pressure in circular motions around the back of their neck, behind the ears, and down the sides of their spine can help break up any anxiety-induced knots.

Step 6: Natural supplements and sprays

What can I give my dog for fireworks anxiety? There are several naturally derived substances that may help support stress and anxiety levels in dogs. Some of these can now be found in chew form that can be given to your dog as a treat, or in spray form to disperse around the area they will be kept in during the evening. Seek out calming products that contain: 

  • L- Tryptophan: This amino acid is found naturally in many protein sources, like turkey, and may support serotonin production. Serotonin is a hormone responsible for maintaining a healthy mood-state in dogs (and humans, too).
  • Lavender: By supporting calming effects on your dog's nervous system, lavender may make them less likely to react to the fireworks with a high level of stress.
  • Chamomile: This herb may help to support healthy sleep and muscle relaxation while maintaining a balanced mood in dogs. Much like a cup of chamomile tea does for us at bedtime, a small serving for dogs may help to make them feel ready to sleep.
  • Thiamine: Otherwise known as Vitamin B1, Thiamin may help support the central nervous system much like lavender does.
  • Valerian Root: This herb has been used by humans for many years. Scientists believe it works on brain receptors to help maintain a healthy, calm mood.
  • Magnesium: When stressed, dogs burn through magnesium quickly – and when magnesium levels are low, stress levels are more likely to increase. That means, supplementing with this mineral can be important for helping support a balanced mood in dogs. 
  • Hemp or CBD: These cannabinoids have been widely researched in recent years. In the right doses, hemp and CBD are safe for dogs to consume and have been shown to be effective in supporting moods. When choosing supplements, keep in mind that CBD oil products are typically more potent than hemp products in regard to potent in their calming effects. 

Please remember to first speak with your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of natural supplement. Each dog is unique in their needs and biology and your veterinarian will help you decide what will work best for their needs.

Putting the Vet in Vetnique

Dr. James Bascharon set out on a mission ten years ago to create a pet supplement company unlike any other. After realizing there was no solution for pets with anal gland issues, Dr. Bascharon set out on a research mission to create a supplement specifically for this problem. After years of research, multiple patents, and collaboration with top industry professionals, Glandex® is now a veterinary renowned solution for pets with anal gland issues. This journey proved that with the correct nutritional supplementation, pets could lead healthier and happier lives. Vetnique Labs® continues with an innovative veterinary mindset and approach to help make a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of millions of pets.
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