Firework Anxiety

Many people enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, but for some dogs the noise can be terrifying. Dogs with noise phobia may exhibit relatively mild symptoms such as trembling or hiding in a closet. Some dogs will exhibit more extreme signs like destroying furniture or exhibiting signs of panic. For dogs with milder noise-induced anxiety, options include:

  1. Providing a dark, interior room to hide
  2. Thundershirts (snug-fitting garments that work similarly to swaddling a baby)
  3. Calming music. There are albums that have been shown to have a calming effect when played for dogs in stressful situations such as boarding kennels. We use one called Through a Dog’s Ear in our kennel and it definitely has a noticeable effect on many dogs. It is available on Amazon and it can also be downloaded from the iTunes store.
  4. Adaptil is a calming pheromone that is available as both a plug-in diffuser and a spray. It is available through veterinarians and pet supply stores.

Dogs with more severe anxiety may do best with medications prescribed by your veterinarian. There is a gel that is absorbed very quickly when applied to the gums called Sileo that takes effect relatively quickly (within about 20 minutes). It can be repeated every 2 hours if necessary and usually only causes mild sedation. Other medications can have a longer effect with more profound sedation (which is helpful in severe cases) but they may need to be given 1-2 hours in advance.