It has been a long, long time since my last post. My bad. Even this one is probably a little late, but better than never. No one is probably reading this anyway. But if you are, here are a few last-minute tips if you have a dog that gets anxious and frightened by fireworks.


Check local event listings to know what firework displays are scheduled and at what time. This will allow you to plan for your dog’s potential time of distress. This will also provide time for you to give your dog any medicine or supplements for anxiety prescribed by or approved by your veterinarian. If you plan on attending a fireworks show, do Fido a favor by leaving them home.

Fireworks at Home

Although many cities do not allow personal fireworks to be used within city limits, that never stopped anyone from pushing boundaries and having a good time. If you love setting off fireworks at home with your kids (no judgement) and have a dog that gets anxious with fireworks, then I suggest not partaking. Sorry to your kids, but Fido (and possibly the police) will thank you for it. If your neighbor’s like to shoot fireworks in the driveway or cul-de-sac, then try finding out when they are likely to do so in order to provide timely comfort to your canine friend.


If possible and temperature permitting, take your furry friend for a relaxing walk before the fireworks begin. A tired dog is generally more calm. Walking can also help release any excess energy/anxiety.


Check fences and gates to make sure they are secure from any potential anxiety manifested escapes. Depending on the situation staying inside with your dog during fireworks might be the best option.

Tags and Chips

Make sure your furry friend has an ID tag with up-to-date information. If your dog is microchipped, make sure the chip is still current and active. ID tags and microchips are good safety nets to have just in case your furry loved one happens to run off.

Safe Space

Make sure your dog has access to anywhere in the house they consider a safe space. This can be a specific room, a closet or even a crate. If the space is somewhere in which the flashing lights from the fireworks are not visible, even better. If not, consider placing your dog in a space with no windows or blocking windows as needed.   


Thunder shirts can have a calming effect on dogs. Experts are not certain exactly how it works (when it does), but it seems to somehow ground the dog in space. You can also wrap an elastic roll bandage around your dogs’ torso to create a DIY thunder coat. Make sure you use the loose kind and not the sticky type sometimes used to bandage wounds. You want the wrap to be secure, but not strangle the dog. Also, it is recommended to have your dog wear any type of shirt/wrap when they are calm in advance of times of stress. This of course is probably no help today, but could be in the future. Please bear in mind that shirts/wraps do not always help, but the only way to find out is to try.

Thunder Shirt
Do It Yourself

White Noise

Soothing music, something calming on TV or running fans during the fireworks can help as well. There is at least one TV channel for dogs that show dogs doing various activities. Scientific studies have found that some dogs actually watch “Dog TV.”

Medicine/Calming Supplements

As previously mentioned, medicine or calming supplements to aid in anxiety can be given to your canine companion in advance of fireworks. This is something that needs to be prescribed or recommended by your veterinarian.

Other Activities

Engage in activities your dog enjoys like play to provide a distraction. Pet or massage your dog while talking in a calm and soothing voice. Even simply being present with your beloved dog during their time of stress can help.

Be Calm

No matter how painful it may be to watch your dog experience stress and anxiety, remain calm. If you get excited and anxious, your dog will likely not achieve a state of calmness.

Listed below is a handout from the Fear Free organization with helpful tips on having a Fourth of July that is free of fear for your dog. Happy July 4th!