Tips to Ease Pet Stress During Fireworks

posted 6/29/2017

With the recent legalization of fireworks in Iowa and the 4th of July right around the corner, it’s more important now than ever to make sure your pet is safe and calm during fireworks displays.

The loud booms, pops, and fizzes associated with fireworks can make pets feel uneasy. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to help calm your pet’s nerves.

  1. Set up a safe zone. Ideally, this safe zone would be in an interior room or lowest level of your house to help minimize the sound of the fireworks, but ultimately, it should be in a room that your pet feels most comfortable in. Put your pet’s kennel or bed in this room for added comfort, along with some toys. Once the fireworks begin, put your pet in the safe zone and close the door behind you until the fireworks are over. If you’re uncomfortable leaving your pet alone during the fireworks, stay with them in the safe zone to cuddle and play.
  2. Keep curtains, doors, and windows closed. Pets should always be kept indoors during fireworks, but being inside with the curtains, doors, and/or windows open defeats the purpose of being inside in the first place. Keeping the house closed up during firework shows will help minimize the booms, pops, and fizzes your pet hears outside.
  3. Turn on the TV or radio. Playing sounds your pet would hear on a regular basis can also help keep them calm during firework displays.
  4. Use calming sprays or collars. Several companies make sprays and collars for cats and dogs that help keep them relaxed in stressful situations -- including fireworks. Most of these products can be found at pet supply stores and veterinarian offices.
  5. Use a compression shirt. Many pet owners have experienced positive results with compression shirts for their dogs. Compression shirts can be found at most pet supply stores and are convenient anxiety relievers.
  6. Talk to your vet about medications. If your pet gets overstimulated by fireworks, talk to your veterinarian about pet anxiety medication options. Most of these medications only have to be administered before a stressful event (like fireworks), and they can be a big help in calming your stressed pet.