Six Ways To Calm Your Dog During Fireworks

Friday, July 3, 2015

I am SO READY for the fireworks to stop. I know I sound like a sourpuss, but it's just not fun for me when I know Harlow is trembling inside the house certain the world is ending.

That being said, here's a few of the things I've tried to calm him.

I give Harlow one and a half and it makes him sleepy/calm. I've typically done this around 10 p.m. during firework season when it's "bedtime" anyway. This is also around the time when the loud boomers are the worst.

The only downfall is it makes Harlow snore ten times louder than usual. And fart in his sleep. TMI? Sorry, I just wanted to warn you.

CALMING XL by Pet Naturals.
I've given these to Harlow during the day when the neighbor kids are being jerks (or being just like I was when I was a kid...) and blasting bottle rockets all day long. I found these in a natural pet store and also on Amazon.

When Harlow takes these he goes from shaking in the bathtub to just laying in bed. So I guess that's a positive thing?

Thunder Shirt.
I was hoping this would be a complete "miracle worker." It's not exactly. But I do think it helps. It's 9:00 a.m. and Harlow already has it on because he heard one firework and went straight for the bathroom. After I put the jacket on he moved to the couch.... so that's a plus!

So like I said, anything that keeps Harlow out of the bathroom and in the same room as me is a step in the right direction.

Calming lavender oil.
I read about this in a crazy dog group I'm in on Facebook (and totally love because everyone else in it is as crazy as me.) You're supposed to rub your dogs ears with it. I also put it on the scent patch on his Thunder Shirt.

In all honesty I think this one is more for the humans than the dogs. Because after I put it on him I always feel pretty damn calm.

Lots and lots of treats.

I've been overcompensating for Harlow's fear by giving him burgers, hot dogs, and cupcakes. It's the American way. What can I say?

And when all else fails, cuddle.
I've read articles that say you shouldn't "coddle" your dog too much when they're scared because that reinforces their fear. But I coddle the hell out of Harlow on a normal day, so I think it would worry him if he wasn't treated like a baby.

Stay strong, animal parents. We'll get through this.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy birthday, America!


  1. If your dog wants to cuddle to be reassured they're not going to die (dogs can be a bit irrational, but who cares?), what's the problem? When my animals are scared, I'm more than glad to hold them and help take their minds off things. Not cuddling would make it worse, I think. :-(

  2. He's eyeing that cupcake like come on now, stop teasin. lol. Btw, I always like the way your photos are edited, or if they even are edited lol.

  3. Ugh I am so not looking forward to the fireworks. I open at work so I'll be sleeping by the time the show starts but my three dogs are probably going to freak out and wake me up.Sigh. It's my least favorite time of year.

  4. We had so much trouble during thunderstorms and fireworks with our Lucy, but the Thundershirt and cuddles worked fairly well. Eventually all the trembling and whining would tire her out. I'm hoping the fireworks don't upset our new puppy too much!

  5. Great tips! Scout hates fireworks. Last night I used peace and calming essential oil. Tonight will be the real test tho!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  6. My in laws think I'm a little crazy because I'll miss fireworks to sit with my dog who's shaking in the bath tub. I feel so terrible for her and really the only way to calm her down is to cuddle her. She's an Irish Setter, so she's not really a lap dog but for two days out of the year, she absolutely can be if it makes her feel better. I'll have to try Benadryl next time and see if it helps her relax. Great tips!

  7. We've used lavender with great success. I usually put some behind the ears and on his front paws. This also works well In the car (my guy is an anxious traveller). This year for the fireworks we used a white noise app playing "thunderstorm." Oddly, the thunder noises in the app didn't bother my dog (who typically barks at real thunder) and seemed to prevent him from fretting about the fireworks. As a result, we all got to sleep. Hope that may help someone. Poor pups!

  8. The total game changer for my Cobbler has been liquid melatonin. She would get so worked up at fireworks (or thunderstorms or the smoke detector going off or her daddy watching football or her mommy watching baseball) that she would whine and cry and just shake so bad I couldn't stand it. Benadryl didn't help her at all...unless it was the next day when she was passed out from a drug hang-over. The $80/bottle Zyklene was effective, but at her size (she's a lab), not an option on a teacher's salary. Our new vet was actually the one who recommended trying the melatonin with Cobbie.

    When I know a storm is coming...or it's a fireworks holiday...she gets her Thundershirt and a lovely piece of her daddy's white bread with 3 droppers of liquid melatonin soaking in to it. Her brother the bulldogge also gets a piece of white bread, but because the liquid melatonin upsets his tummy and causes him to puke, his is dry. The combination of the two - melatonin and thundershirt - allow Cobbie to lay down on the dog bed and just chill.

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