With Independence Day fast approaching, many pet parents will wonder how best to keep their furry friends calm and happy. The celebrations are great for us with all the fireworks and celebrations, but potentially anxiety-inducing for dogs. So, here are five tips on how to keep your dog calm during 4th of July.

1) Tire them out during the day.

Preparing a dog for Independence Day celebrations begins earlier in the dog. Dogs are less likely to be upset and resort to any anxious or destructive behavior if they are low on energy. A well-fed dog who has had a long run that evening may sleep through any of the chaos outside.

2) Create a safe space at home.

Safe spaces are essential so that all dogs feel they have somewhere where they can retreat. A crate is perfect because you can fill it full of things they love and nice smells. You can also make it dark and cozy with a blanket over the top. This is the best option if you know your pet will be home alone while the family is out watching the celebrations. They can stay here and feel calmer until you get back. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have this in place if you are at home, just in case they get particularly anxious.

3) Provide plenty of distractions during the fireworks.

Distractions are important as they will quickly take your pet’s mind off all the noise and commotion outside. Dogs that get to play with their favorite toys with their favorite people may learn that fireworks, and thunderstorms, for that matter, aren’t so bad. Keep them occupied and make a fuss. If they are home alone, make sure they have enough toys in their crate and think about leaving the TV or radio on for them to drown out the noise.

4) Offer physical contact with cuddles and compression vests.

Dogs like to get physically close whenever something is wrong, either to soothe themselves or protect us. Cuddles and pets are a simple way to help calm dogs during fireworks and loud noises. Curl up on the sofa and watch a film to ignore what’s happening outside. If your dog is home alone, consider a compression vest that works well as an anti-anxiety tool.

5) Try some calming aids.

Finally, there is the option of using a calming aid like a herbal drop or aromatherapy to keep your canine companion calm during the 4th of July. We aren’t talking about pharmaceutical sedatives here, as those can be powerful and have side-effect risks. Instead, you want to consider pheromones, calming herbs, or CBD oil for relaxation. CBD chews are great to give to dogs a little before the fireworks are due to start.

To summarize, the best way to keep dogs calm on the 4th of July is to implement a range of these methods. Tire them out in the evening, let them retreat to a cozy den with some calming treats, and make a fuss of them to keep them happy and comforted. You should find the night is a lot less stressful this way.