We’re just entering summer here in Seattle and I'm looking forward to a chance to get a suntan while out hiking, spending some time with friends, and kicking it all off with July 4th celebrations... aka high anxiety time for our four-legged friends.
Which brings me to this: the busiest day for shelters taking in runaway dogs is July 5th and with 4th of July falling on a Monday, you can be sure we're in for a long weekend of backyard fireworks and celebrations. In short - there will be more localized impromptu noise coming from all directions.
I know the trouble fireworks can cause for dogs all too well, having experienced Bailey’s full-on panic attacks as we rode the ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle one year, watching the display and all those beautiful lights in the sky... literally booming above us. That experience prompted me to develop our “No More Wiggles” formula to help calm my dog's jangled nerves.
It’s normal if your dog gets scared—they have keen senses that make fireworks a more intense experience... more acute hearing being the main one. During fireworks, your dog experiences the same kind of startled response you do when you’re surprised by a loud noise. This may mean an increase in heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and an increase in stress hormones circulating through the body.
For your dog, fireworks aren’t the same experience as a thunderstorm, which comes with a lot of warning signs, like changes in barometric pressure and increasing winds. Fireworks, on the other hand, are sudden, occur out of nowhere, and are far more intimidating as a result.
A CBD-rich hemp extract will help manage sensitivity to noise but I've found that adding a combination of botanicals and herbs, like Valerian Root, Passionflower, and Chamomile, will give the best protection. Bailey's No More Wiggles includes all of these with an increased amount of CBD and you'll find that will do just the trick. It's certainly what Bailey's having this coming 4th of July!
Tips to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks Season
Keep your pet in a secured, safe environment within your home.
Even a fenced yard cannot guarantee that your pet will be secure. If you have a room without windows or a large closet, place your dog's bed in there and create a nesting place. They will appreciate a tight safe place and dampened noise. Crates, or their preferred safe place, covered with blankets can work as well. White noise or comforting music can also help downplay fireworks and ease pets' stress.
Make sure their microchip and ID tags are up to date.
And have multiple emergency numbers to contact if available. The more numbers to contact the better. This way, your pet does happen to get out, you have a better chance of being reunited with them. Remember, pets are known to instinctively run far, far away from the noises (and tracking them down sure is difficult in the commotion that follows).
Stock up on stress relievers prior to the 4th of July!
It is important to set your dog up for success. So, easing them into a routine with comforting products will work better than trying new products during the fireworks.
CBD can be a great tool to help keep your pet calm. If you haven’t used CBD before make sure to give it a try at least week in advance to find a good baseline serving for your pet, specifically.
If you use CBD already you may want to increase the dose the day prior and continue through July 5th. Just because the 4th of July is designated as a holiday doesn’t mean your neighbor doesn’t want to continue the party with leftover fireworks the next day.*
If at all possible skip the parties and stay home with your animal.
Not only are fireworks be loud and scary for pets, but being left alone can increase their anxiety. If you have to be away from the home, coordinate with a friend or neighbor to check in on your dog or find a boarding facility prepared for this type of event.
Help your pet be too busy/tired/happy to care.
A tired dog is a happy dog so make sure to exercise your pup early in the day and provide lick mats, fun chews or puzzle toys to keep them busy when the excitement starts.
Don’t try and exercise or take your dog outside after the sun sets, this is prime fireworks time!
*To prepare your pet for 4th of July, we recommend starting your pet on CBD a week (or at the very least 2-3 days) beforehand, and continuing through through July 5th (or whenever your neighbors run out of fireworks.)
On Independence Day, start CBD before noon and continue to dose every 4-6 hours through 11 pm to ensure your animal is fully prepared for whatever happens during the day AND night. A sleeping, calm dog is much better than an overactive stressed animal.
Remember CBD may take up to an hour to start taking effect, so plan accordingly.
I hope you and your pets have a safe and happy 4th of July!