Celebrating Canada 150: Fireworks Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs

Celebrating Canada 150 Fireworks Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs - Photo 1 - Doghaus Blog

The festivities of the Fête national du Québec and of the upcoming Canada Day are a time of celebration for us, but that doesn’t always mean that our dogs and cats see them the same way. To our four-legged companions, who experience the world around them through their immediate senses, the battery of sudden flashes of light and booming noises can be very alarming. It’s entirely natural for them to become anxious or afraid. Some may be fine with the noise, but most will react by trying to find a place to hide or even by trying to escape to where they think the noise won’t reach them.

We can’t explain to our dogs and cats why these things are happening or why they shouldn’t be afraid, but we can anticipate their behaviour and make preparations for the nights when fireworks will be going off. Here are some tips we hope you find helpful for having a safe and fun experience this Canada Day!

Leave your dogs (and cats!) at home

If you are planning on joining in on the outdoor festivities, leave your pets at home. Even a well-seasoned city adventurer can become frightened by the sudden and explosive commotion. Best save them (and yourself) the stress, and tuck them in for an early night at home.

If you normally leave your pets outdoors, bring them inside. There’s no telling what they may get up to without your supervision and while in a state of fear.

Exercise them beforehand

A mentally and physically tired dog or cat will have less energy to spend worrying about fireworks if they are too busy catching up on sleep. Take them for a long walk or tucker them out with an active play session before the fireworks and celebrations begin.

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Prepare a secure and safe spot for them to hide

Many dogs and cats, when confronted with loud noises, will look for a place to hide. Prepare a place for them to seek shelter that is familiar, comfortable, and that they find safe. This can be their crate, the floor under the coffee table, or even a pile of laundry in the back of the closet. Leave a bowl of water nearby and don’t worry if your pet chooses a spot other than where you had in mind.

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Leave noise on in the background

Having a movie, the radio, or even the television on in the background will help provide ambient noise and mask the sound of fireworks. If your furry companion happens to find a certain kind of music relaxing, leave it on to help calm their nerves.

Keep them distracted

Keeping your dogs and cats busy will give them the opportunity to focus on something other than the commotion outside. This is a good time to break out their favourite bone or chew, a new and exciting toy, or give them something that will keep them occupied. A Kong stuffed with treats or an Aron Original Beef Chew (pictured below) will do the trick.

If your dog or cat is calm enough, this would also be a great time to spruce up on some basic commands, focusing less on perfection and more on their continued engagement. Practice their sits and downs, and keep their mind active and focused on you.

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Give calming signals

Dogs, more so than cats (let’s be honest!), will often look to their humans for guidance on how to confront an unfamiliar situation, but both will respond to what you are communicating to them and how. Comforting and rewarding them for calm behaviour, continuing along with your night as though it is like any other, and offering calming signals will help them understand that there is nothing to be afraid of. 

Help your dogs and cats relax

If you expect your dog or cat to become anxious, give them something to calm down. Using dog- and cat-friendly de-stressing balms or giving calming treats can help alleviate some of the stress they may be feeling. Our current favourite treats that we love using are the True Hemp Chews: Calming Support for Dogs. With a combination of hemp seed, chamomile, and lemon balm extract, these treats utilize natural ingredients to help reduce your dog’s stress levels.

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Have a safe and happy Canada 150!

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