Trainer urges dog owners to start preparing for 4th of July fireworks now — and here are her top two tips

Chihuahua wearing patriotic sunglasses and tie with fireworks going off
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While it can be a whole lot of fun for us humans, the 4th of July is often a very stressful time for our canine companions.

Fireworks, unfamiliar environments and crowds of people, can cause our dogs to feel incredibly anxious — no matter how many of the best dog treats you've packed to help distract them. 

And even if you choose to stay home with your pup, all of those big bangs can cause a dog to become nervous or fearful. 

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to calm your dog during fireworks, and in a recent Instagram post, expert trainer Juliana DeWillems has shared two steps you can take now to prepare your dog for the 4th of July fireworks. 

1. Introduce your dog to fireworks sounds on YouTube: Once you've found a video, DeWillems recommends you start on a very low volume and increase in small increments over time. 

"Stop or reduce the volume if you see any signs of stress: yawning, lip licking, trembling, trying to hide, etc," she says. "You want to see your dog relaxed and happy when playing the audio. You can pair the sound with your dog’s favorite treats or bones."

You may find one of the best long lasting dog chews helpful when playing these sounds as they'll help to keep your pup occupied for longer. 

2. Consult your vet: Anxiety in dogs is more common than you might think and if you know that fireworks are a major stressor for your dog, don't be afraid to make an appointment to speak with your vet.

"If you are at all worried about your dog, if your dog is likely to panic, be miserable, or feel highly stressed…talk to your vet NOW," she confirms. "Anti-anxiety medication can be a life saver on 4th of July for sound sensitive dogs. Between needing time to make an appt and possibly needing to trial new meds, you want plenty of time ahead of the 4th to get the resources you need."

So many dogs hate the 4th of July, which means if you're dreading it, you're far from alone. 

The good news is that by starting to prepare your dog early, you can help make the day a lot less stressful for you both. 

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Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.