Dog parents: Here's how to calm down your dog during fireworks.

Fireworks are colorful, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. But for most dogs, they're absolutely terrifying.

Think about it — loud noises and bright lights occurring without warning and often while their human best friends in the entire world leave them home alone? It's no wonder our four-legged friends get major anxiety.

Before you celebrate, here are nine ways to keep your pet safe and minimize noise anxiety.


Left: Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Right: Photo by Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Going to a fireworks show? Maybe don't bring your doggo.

Yes, your dog loves hamburgers and grassy fields, but the rest of the night is dark, unfamiliar, and filled with strangers. And that's before the fireworks start. Don't let your human guilt get in the way of their canine comfort.

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for 1 Hotels.

2. If you know your dog has noise anxiety, do them a solid and stay home.

When your dog is scared, they will look to you not only for comfort but to know how to react or behave. If you're not there, they'll have one more thing to worry about. Consider staying in or asking a trusted friend or dog-sitter to come by.

3. Before the fireworks, take your dog on a nice long walk.

A walk before sundown may be the only time your pet is willing to go outside all night. Plus a nice stroll will tucker them out, leaving little energy to put toward their anxiety.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

4. When it comes to food and water: feed and fill.

Nervous dogs may avoid eating, so make sure they get a good meal earlier in the day. However, nervous dogs tend to be on the thirsty side, so keep the water bowl filled and at the ready.

5. Create a safe space for your special furry snowflake.

Find an interior room or space without windows to ride out the fireworks show. Make sure they have food and water, their favorite blankets, and if they're crate or kennel trained, bring that too. If you can't get away from the noise, try playing soft music or a white noise machine.

6. Give your dog a snug hug ... with fabric.

Like swaddling does for infants, snug shirts or vests apply consistent comforting pressure around your dog's belly and torso, which can ease anxiety. Buy these products at the pet store or make your own out of a bandage or scarf. (See these adorable illustrations and instructions from Lili Chin.)

7. Distraction is a another great tool to — SQUIRREL!

Since your dogs can't sit and mindlessly refresh Twitter, a new bone, puzzle toy, or favorite game might be just what they need to get through a stressful night.

[rebelmouse-image 19527562 dam="1" original_size="400x207" caption="GIF via "Up."" expand=1]GIF via "Up."

8. Tags: You're it.

Even dogs who aren't prone to running away could get scared enough to bolt during fireworks. Make sure your dog is wearing its collar and tags and that your doors and yard are secure.

9. Be the friend you'd want to have when you're scared.

Offer kind vibes, head pats, peanut butter, lots of snuggles, and no pressure to come out from under the bed.

Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty images.

Fireworks only happen a handful of times each year. With a little preparation, you can get through them together.

Be supportive, loving, and generous with your affection.

Basically, be like your dog.

Photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less