How to Prep for Fireworks with a Nervous Dog – Mushy Beds

How to Prep for Fireworks with a Nervous Dog

How to Prep for Fireworks with a Nervous Dog

Fireworks usually happen during joyful family celebrations. The 4th of July or New Year's Eve are exciting times for humans. It would be great if your dog could enjoy these big, loud explosions as much as you do. But not all dogs are comfortable with fireworks. Many nervous dogs get very scared when explosions start going off in the sky. This is no matter how pretty they may be.

Anxiety in dogs is a common trait that can manifest in puppies or as the result of past fears. Dogs who are afraid of thunder or other loud noises are also likely to be scared of fireworks, as well. If your dog is anxious and doesn't like loud noises, a little prep time can help you get through a fireworks holiday more comfortably together.

Dealing with Loud Noises

Many dogs don't deal with loud noises well. Some duck, some run away, and some start barking out of fear. All of these reactions are OK. But your dog will be happier if you can ease their anxiety before they go into a fear response.

Dealing with loud noises practically can help your dog cope with their anxiety. Once you and your dog have an anxiety routine, you can tackle many things that might worry your nervous dog. This is until you're not worried anymore.

Create a Safe Space to Huddle

Start by giving your dog a safe space to lie down when the fireworks start going off. If they have a kennel where they feel safe, lay a heavy blanket over the top so it becomes a warm, sound-dampening cave. If they have a favorite bed, build a blanket fort around it to feel safer. The fireworks are quieter when your dog goes to their safe space.

Do not close the kennel if your dog is inside. If your dog panics at one of the explosions, it's best if they can run away. Or they might hurt themselves trying to get out.

Provide Rewards and Distractions

Before the fireworks start, begin having fun playtime with your dog. Play games and give them treats to distract them from the scary sounds that are about to start. Ideally, your dog can ignore the sounds for a while and may begin to associate them with a fun time. But if your dog becomes too distracted to play, let the play stop naturally and transition to cuddling or being comforting nearby.

Get Used to Loud Noises Safely Over Time

You might be able to help your dog adapt to the sound of fireworks and other loud noises progressively before the big event. It will be easier if your dog is young or still a puppy.

Try playing the sound of fireworks softly in the background when you play together, and slowly turn up the volume. If your dog tends to bolt at nearby loud noises, work together with a friend who will drop a book at a distance while you provide play, treats, and love to show your dog that loud noises don't have to stop a good time.

If your dog becomes scared, stop the noises and provide comfort.

Cuddle Indoors During Fireworks If Your Dog Isn't Ready

If you know your dog will be anxious about fireworks, stay indoors. Use white noise or a familiar movie to muffle the sounds of fireworks outside and spend quality time with your dog indoors. Cuddle and play together and give them treats during the fireworks show so your dog knows everything is OK. This is despite the big sounds they don't understand happening outside.

Make a Safe Space with Mushy Beds

At Mushy Beds, we make beds that help your dog feel genuinely at home in their space. We would be proud to be a part of your dog's safe space where they can feel calm and loved during anxiety. Add a Mushy Bed to your dog's kennel, their favorite corner, or at the foot of your bed, where you share a blanket fort whenever your dog gets nervous about fireworks, thunder, or other big sounds.