Fireworks typically only happen once or twice a year so the loud noises and flashes of light can catch your dog off guard and cause anxiety. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the evening and help your pet stay calm throughout the festivities.
Always remember a dog's hearing is far more accute than yours!
DO NOT bring your dog to the firework display areas. Animals may become frightened and nervous. In addition to the main display other people may have personal fireworks, which are unpredictable and unsafe for pets to be around. Never leave your pet in the car during fireworks; this could be a deadly mistake.
If you live near the location of a fireworks display, leave your pet inside and try using a white noise machine or playing soft music to help block the sounds of the fireworks and calm your pet. If your pet is particularly fearful of fireworks make every effort to stay inside with them.
Be proactive and exercise your dog before the fireworks commence. A tired dog is less anxious. You can also stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats for your dog to work on during the fireworks, to serve as a "pacifier" and help him associate the scary noises with good things.
If you are staying inside with your pet for the event, try to stay in a familiar environment. This will help lower stress levels and encourage a night of fun for everyone, including your pet.
Remember never to punish your dog during times of stress; it will only make the fear more engrained. It is perfectly acceptable, and advisable, to comfort your dog when he is fearful. Massage him, provide high-value treats often and speak softly to him. This will help him learn that fireworks are safe and predictors of great things!