Dogs and Fireworks: How to Calm Your Dog During 4th of July

Dogs and Fireworks: How to Calm Your Dog During 4th of July

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, it’s natural that dog owners are on edge. We all know that our four-legged friends can be downright terrified of fireworks. Some believe that more dogs run away on Independence Day than any other day of the year! But why do so many dogs panic at the sound of fireworks? And is there ANYTHING you can do to keep your dog calm during the celebration?

Well, worry not! There are plenty of ways to protect your pup from stress this fireworks season. Several companies stepped up to the challenge of combating canine anxiety, and now you can find an array of products, supplements, and treats designed to calm your pet. This advancement in pet care is fantastic for owners, but one critical question remains: Which products really work?

To answer this question, we decided to do some research on behalf of all devoted dog owners. We pored through research on canine anxiety, learned everything we could about dogs and fireworks, and studied product details in depth. After our investigation, we found that CBD was by far the most effective ingredient for fighting your dog’s firework fear! 

Of course, there are many pet CBD brands out there marketing their products as the best thing since buttered bread. Lucky for you (and your dog!), we found the company that lives up to the hype. Allow us to introduce HolistaPet — an organic brand that creates effective products and puts your pet’s health first. Let’s explore some of their finest calming formulas!

Top Calming Products by HolistaPet

CBD is an all-natural compound that comes from hemp. It’s non-intoxicating, which means you don’t have to worry about it making your dog high. People use CBD all the time to curb nervous feelings and behavior, and it works just as well in dogs to stop anxiety and halt panic attacks.

That’s right — CBD can act as a natural chill pill for any dog experiencing fear or anxiety. You can give it to your dog regularly or before a stressful event to help them stay calm. This makes it the perfect tool to help your dog feel safe and comforted when the fireworks start!

Beneficial Ingredients

The name says it all! These treats are specifically formulated to relieve stress and anxiety in dogs. We totally approve of this special blend of anxiety-fighting ingredients! Your dog is sure to approve of the peanut butter-apple flavor, too.

  • L-theanine. This naturally occurring amino acid reduces stress and anxiety by pumping up the feel-good chemicals in your dog’s brain! Specifically, l-theanine can increase dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, which all contribute to mood stability and stress response.
  • Chamomile. This all-star herb lends its calming qualities to these fear-fighting treats. Chamomile soothes dogs because it contains a special antioxidant called apigenin which promotes calmness.
  • Hemp Seed Powder. Did you say “superfood”? Hemp seed powder is a highly nutritious ingredient that is rich in protein and omega fatty acids. In fact, did you know that hemp seeds have the perfect ratio of omega 3-6-9 acids?
  • CBD Oil. The high-quality CBD in these treats adds the cherry on top of a fantastic product. This oil is full spectrum, so it includes the full cannabinoid profile, including trace amounts of THC, which complements the CBD. This extract provides maximum beneficial effects to your dog.
  • Other ingredients: Peanut Butter, Organic Applesauce, Brown Rice Flour, Molasses, Cinnamon, Coconut Oil

Potencies

These biscuits come in different potency options. You can easily choose the right dosage option for your dog:

  • 150 mg – For dogs under 20 lbs (5 mg each treat)
  • 300 mg – For dogs 20-60 lbs (10 mg each treat)
  • 600 mg – For dogs over 60 lbs (20 mg each treat)

More Perks

It seems like HolistaPet is serious about keeping your pet safe! They formulate all their products (including these treats) without harmful additives. That means no pesticides, no GMOs, and no other questionable ingredients. These treats are made with all human-grade ingredients, so they’re pure enough to eat yourself. Like all their other CBD products, HolistaPet routinely has these treats tested by a third-party lab to ensure their potency.

Beneficial Ingredients

HolistaPet’s CBD Calming Chews have CBD, yes, but they are chock-full of other soothing and stress relieving ingredients. All these ingredients work together to reduce canine anxiety fast. Let’s take a look at what these tasty soft chews offer!

  • Choline Chloride. This essential nutrient supports several bodily functions, but its role in brain development is critical. Choline improves memory and cognition. What’s more, one study discovered a link between choline deficiency and increased anxiety.
  • Tryptophan. This amino acid is a necessary building block of melatonin and serotonin — two very important neurotransmitters in your dog’s body. Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle while serotonin plays a major role in stabilizing mood and keeping your pup happy.
  • Phosphatidylcholine. A multi-tasking compound, phosphatidylcholine supports brain health and may also aid liver function. It’s thought to boost memory by increasing acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter.
  • German chamomile – We all know and love this calming herb! Chamomile flowers have long been used for their sedative and soothing properties. It lends these qualities to the treats, helping your dog stay calm in the presence of firecrackers.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD Extract – Our favorite! Broad spectrum CBD is a type of cannabidiol extract that contains no THC whatsoever. It keeps your dog cool and collected by balancing and soothing the nervous system (more on this later!).
  • Other ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Blackstrap Molasses, Calcium Propionate, Chickpea Flour, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, Peanut Butter, Sweet Potato, Sunflower Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Water

Potencies

Since HolistaPet’s CBD Calming Chews contain CBD, you will need to give your dog an appropriate amount of treats according to their weight. Fortunately, the chews are available in various potency options! These selections accommodate dogs of all sizes and make it super simple to purchase the right chews for your pooch.

  • 150 mg – For dogs under 20 lbs (5 mg each treat)
  • 300 mg – For dogs 20-60 lbs (10 mg each treat)
  • 600 mg – For dogs over 60 lbs (20 mg each treat)

If you have an XXL dog (over 100 lbs!), don’t be afraid to give them some extra treats! Here’s a good rule of thumb for dosing if you’re a bit puzzled: Give your dog 0.25 mg of CBD per pound of bodyweight for regular dose and 0.5mg of CBD per pound for a strong dose.  

More Perks

We could write a book about why we love HolistaPet’s treats, but one marvelous feature of this product is that they’re tested by a third-party laboratory for potency. This means each batch is sent to a lab that measures the exact cannabinoid levels. Not only do the tests guarantee performance, but they also ensure each bottle meets FDA guidelines that keep your pet from becoming intoxicated.  You can view the results of these tests online at the HolistaPet website — just look for the Certificate of Analysis. 

Beneficial Ingredients

Ready for a shake-up? This tincture only has TWO ingredients. But this formula is not to be underestimated! The short and sweet ingredient list speaks for the quality and effectiveness of the components.

  • Hemp Seed Oil. Derived from highly nutritious hemp seeds, this oil makes the perfect carrier for CBD. It’s packed with beneficial omega fatty acids that help carry CBD into your pet’s system while nourishing their skin, coat, and immune system.
  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil. This potent CBD extract helps your dog’s system stay balanced and grounded, keeping them calm in the most trying times. Full spectrum CBD oil allows your dog to experience the most beneficial effects because it includes all the cannabinoids and compounds in hemp.

Potencies

Of course, one bottle does not fit all. Considering you can give this oil to your dog or cat, it makes sense that the company offers a wide range of potencies. Here are the available dosage options:

  • 150 mg of CBD – for pets under 20 lbs
  • 300 mg of CBD – for pets 20-60 lbs
  • 600 mg of CBD – for pets 60-100 lbs
  • 1200 mg of CBD – for pets 100-160 lbs
  • 3000 mg of CBD – for pets over 160 lbs

More Perks

This tincture contains clean CBD obtained from a safe CO2 extraction (yes, we checked to make sure). CBD extracted via the CO2 method won’t include any harmful solvents that other extraction methods may leave behind. Like the other HolistaPet products we reviewed, this tincture is also tested by a third-party lab to ensure it has adequate cannabinoid levels. And of course, the hemp seed oil is organic, making the formula completely additive-free. We see a complete win for your four-legged friend!

What is CBD?

So, we have been praising CBD left and right, but any responsible owner would want to know more before buying in. What is this extraordinary substance that can keep your dog from hiding under the couch on the 4th of July? How does it work? 

CBD is short for cannabidiol. As we said before, it’s a compound that naturally exists in hemp, though it’s present in other cannabis plants too. Unlike THC, CBD will not get your dog high. It simply provides soothing, balancing effects to their mind and body.

When a person or dog takes CBD, the compound interacts with their endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps maintain the body’s internal balance by influencing other systems (nervous, digestive, immune, and more) to function steadily. Research shows that CBD may assist your ECS and boost this natural process.

Most Notable Studies on CBD and Anxiety

We looked at the science behind CBD and found some compelling research. So far, studies show that CBD really can reduce anxiety in animals and this information is backed by veterinarians nationwide! Turns out this talk about CBD isn’t just hype after all. Here’s what we discovered.

US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions

One of the most interesting studies involving dogs and anxiety was performed here in the US. In 2018, hundreds of professional veterinarians spread throughout the country completed a survey covering numerous questions about CBD. The vets were asked about their knowledge of CBD, how many pet owners inquire about CBD, and how CBD has helped or harmed pets. One question, in particular, was about dogs with anxiety and whether CBD is effective or not. Surprisingly, 87.1% answered that CBD is helpful and only 1.2% claimed that it was harmful.    

Potential for Treating PTSD (Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2012)

Another trial done in 2012 examined CBD’s effect on long-term stress. The value of this study was to determine CBD’s potential for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, a troubling mental condition that can develop after a traumatic event.

Researchers essentially traumatized rats by exposing them to a predator (a cat) and then administered CBD continually for one week. After the week was over, they measured the rats’ brain function and anxiety levels through the elevated plus maze. They found that CBD protected the rats from the long-term effects of stress they may have otherwise experienced.

Verified Anxiolytic Effects (Psychopharmacology, 2008)

A 2008 study conducted in Berlin tested the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD on rats through the Vogel conflict test (VCL) and the elevated plus maze (EPM). These are both well-established rodent tests that measure the anxiolytic effects of drugs. After injecting the rats with CBD, they all performed positively on the tests and displayed reduced levels of anxiety.

Why Do Fireworks Scare Our Dogs?

The loud noises. The unpredictable pattern. The inability to escape the commotion. When you think about it, fireworks are a trifecta of terror for dogs. 

We all know that loud noises can scare our canine companions. But if you think a firework show is loud, remember that your dog’s hearing is almost four times as sensitive as yours! Imagine what those blasts sound like to them. It might be similar to a bomb going off in their home. 

Speaking of bombs, the volume and unpredictability of fireworks can cause dogs to feel incredibly endangered. While we see fun festivities, they see a major threat to their wellbeing (and their family). Dogs can’t comprehend the meaning of the celebration. They don’t understand that it’s supposed to be fun — they only sense danger.

When your dog feels threatened, their flight-or-fight instincts kick in. This means their nervous system is going into overdrive, their brains flood with adrenaline, and all they want to do is take off and run to safety. Unfortunately, when fireworks are going off all night long on the Fourth, a safe, quiet place is hard to find. This inescapable situation can lead to your dog feeling trapped, which only increases their fear.

Are All Dogs Scared of Fireworks?

No, not every dog is scared of fireworks. Some dogs are perfectly fine with our Independence Day festivities! 

Several factors determine your dog’s comfort around fireworks. Their breed, previous exposure to loud sounds, and age all play into whether they will be scared of fireworks. Young puppies that are still learning the difference between danger and safety may be more prone to firework phobia, as are dogs with trauma surrounding loud sounds. 

One thing is crucial to remember: If you are having fun and showing no signs of fear when the show starts, your dog is less likely to freak out.

Do Fireworks Hurt Dogs’ Ears?

Yes, fireworks can hurt your dog’s ears. As we said before, dogs have far more sensitive ears, and loud noises can definitely do some damage.

Fireworks can give off sounds up to 190 decibels, which is pretty loud. Sadly, this volume is loud enough to cause tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and minor degrees of hearing loss. If you’re concerned about your pup’s ears, it’s a good idea to keep them away from the loud blasts. 

Can Dogs Be Traumatized By Fireworks?

Absolutely. Though not every dog will be emotionally scarred from a firework show, the psychological effects are undeniable.

When a dog becomes overwhelmed with fear, its fight-or-flight drive becomes activated. This instinct is necessary for survival, and the body will swing into this state whenever it senses trouble. When terrifying events occur, the body may associate stimuli around those incidents with danger.

In other words, some dogs may learn that fireworks (or all loud sounds) are always a source of risk, and their body will enter fight-or-flight mode every time they see, hear, or even smell a firework. This is how one Independence Day cookout can leave lasting effects on your four-legged friend, causing them to have meltdowns like you’ve never seen before.

How Do I Identify if My Dog is Afraid of Fireworks?

It’s pretty easy to tell if your dog is afraid of fireworks. Just in case you’re unsure, look for these signs when the festivities start:

  • Shaking
  • Pacing up & down
  • Panting heavily
  • Excess barking, whining
  • Pushing their ears back
  • Hiding or cowering
  • Destructive Behavior

How to Determine High Quality CBD Products for Dogs

Now that we know CBD is the best thing to pack for the fireworks bonanza, you may be wondering how we picked out the best CBD products for dogs. It’s tedious to sort through brands and compare marketing claims (which may only have a grain of truth). So, you must look for certain criteria when deciding what company to go with.

When we discovered HolistaPet, we did a deep dive and explored many aspects of the brand. Specifically, we considered their ingredients, CBD source, potency, extraction method, and third-party testing standards. Allow us to elaborate:

Ingredients

The ingredients are perhaps the MOST important component of a product. We want everything our pets consume to be safe, effective, and beneficial. Guess what? You can determine if a product meets all those standards just by glimpsing the ingredients list (if you know what to look for).

Always be on the lookout for whole, organic ingredients. Superfoods are a huge plus! Stay away from pesticides, GMOs, fillers, by-products, and anything else that doesn’t add value to the formula. These ingredients can hinder your pet’s body, and they aren’t worth your money.

CBD Source

Where a company gets its CBD from is critical. You should always ensure the CBD comes from local hemp farms in the United States. Why? Local American hemp growers are subject to strict standards set by the Food and Drug Administration. These rules keep the crops safe.

On the other hand, imported hemp may not follow these same safety guidelines. If a company gets its CBD from a farm somewhere outside of the U.S., there is a chance their CBD may be contaminated or capable of intoxicating your pet.

Potency

As we all know, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. So, it only makes sense that a pet CBD brand should make products that fit the diverse needs of our canine companions! Check and see if the company offers multiple potency options for your pet. Also, you can check to make sure the potencies are correct by viewing the COA for each product. 

Third-Party Testing

You also want to look into a company’s third-party testing standards. A responsible company will pay to have their products tested to verify the cannabinoid levels are as they should be (enough CBD to be effective, not enough THC to induce a high).

Ideally, the results of these tests will be readily available to consumers in the form of a Certificate of Analysis (COA). If you cannot find info on testing, that’s a big red flag. In fact, it should mean a hard pass on that brand! A COA ensures a product’s potency and safety.

Extraction Method

Last but not least, looking into a brand’s CBD extraction method gives you insight into how pure the product is. If a company is trying to save money, it may opt for a solvent extraction that leaves behind a chemical residue in the product. It’s best to stay away from those brands. 

Instead, you want to buy from brands that obtain their CBD through CO2 extraction. This method uses no harsh solvents, so there’s no chance of contaminants ending up in the final product. CO2 extraction uses pure pressurized CO2 gas to remove CBD from hemp, resulting in a pure product free of dirty residuals.

Why HolistaPet?

Considering everything we just discussed about what makes a spectacular CBD brand, we have to say that HolistaPet lives up to the highest standards! Everything from their stellar ingredients to their locally-sourced CBD and lab-testing all check out. And to top it off, they have some of the best customer benefits around, making it easy to shop with them and be a loyal customer.

We get the impression that HolistaPet truly cares about animals. Every single product they sell, whether it be for cats, dogs, or horses, is vegan and cruelty-free. It’s so fitting that a brand that’s all about improving pets’ lives stands by animal-friendly principles! But there’s more to their products than an outstanding message.

Unlike other brands that use fillers, artificial flavors, or other harmful additives, every HolistaPet formula is made with organic ingredients that support your pet’s body! They use superfoods, natural calming ingredients, and other beneficial compounds  — no sketchy additives, gluten, or GMOs.  We have yet to see another brand that can match HolistaPet’s ingredients. You can tell this company did their research and carefully crafted each product with the right components to fit your pet’s needs.

The quality of their products really shines through when you check out their customer reviews. Honest reviews are one of the most telling indicators of a product’s performance, and HolistaPet’s ratings are off the charts. The site is jampacked with 5-star reviews and testimonies from satisfied customers telling of how the products helped their pets. Stories of recovered mobility and reduced aggression are just the tip of the iceberg.

Did we mention that shopping with HolistaPet is totally hassle-free? Their website is super easy to sort through — no digging required to find what you need. They offer subscription packages for loyal customers (save 25%!) and a no-questions-asked return policy. Plus, you’ll receive tons of savings and discounts if you tune into their email newsletters. All of these customer perks are a godsend in the CBD market where quality products can be quite costly. 

Got questions about your shipment? Dosing? HolistaPet has a team of LIVE (and helpful!) customer support agents that you can call or chat with during regular business hours. Their customer service team is knowledgeable about the products and all things CBD, and they’re happy to take your questions.

So, all in all, HolistaPet has our seal of approval. We recommend making them your one-stop-shop before this upcoming Fourth of July. The company has speedy delivery, but if you wait too long you may not receive your package until after the festivities. In addition to the calming treats and tinctures, they make other fantastic CBD products that you can use year-round. Whether you have a dog, cat, or horse, HolistaPet has something special in store. Check out their impressive variety for yourself and find the product that best fits your pet’s needs!

 

The reviews and statements published here are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or views of Observer.

Dogs and Fireworks: How to Calm Your Dog During 4th of July