The $9 secret to keeping scaredy-dogs calm during 4th of July fireworks

·4 min read

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Spot's 4th of July is about to get a whole lot better. (Photo: Getty)
Boomer's 4th of July is about to get a whole lot better. (Photo: Getty Images)

As much as my pup loves 4th of July for obvious reasons — namely, the potential that a stray piece of chicken or hamburger patty might accidentally fall off the grill and straight into her mouth — she also can’t stand the fireworks. She’s already a frightful pup; loud noises scare her, and a firework display is, without fail, a recipe for her running under my bed in panic, or worse, shaking under the nearest table she can find. She’s not alone: In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, more pets go missing on 4th of July than any other time of year.

While I’ve tried an endless amount of calming treats with varying degrees of efficacy, there’s one that my pup Chloe and I love, and it’s wicked inexpensive: Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Dog Chews, $9 (was $14).

Now, they’re no replacement for basic pet parent common sense during fireworks: I still make sure to close all windows and draw the curtains, keep her safely inside and with her favorite plushies and blankets, and either watching a TV show or listening to tail-wagging songs. These treats act as an additional barrier between her and the loud, scary fireworks I know she’ll hear, and they seriously do help.

The chews use a Colostrum Calming Complex Biopepide Blend, L-Theanine and Vitamin B to soothe Chloe without making her sleepy or drowsy. They’re sedative-free and won’t tire her out, plus they last for four to six hours and start working up to 20 minutes after ingesting. They also reportedly taste delicious, as my furbaby runs straight to me when she sees me opening up the packet. They’re soft and easy to chew, so if your pet is older or has dental issues like Chloe, she’ll have an easier time with this than her kibble.

Give half a chew for dogs up to 25 pounds, one chew for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds and two chews for dogs 51 to 100 pounds. Increase if needed. (Photo: Chewy)
Give half a chew for dogs up to 25 pounds, one chew for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds and two chews for dogs 51 to 100 pounds. Increase if needed. (Photo: Chewy)

It’s not just for fireworks, too: I use mine whenever she’s being particularly antsy, like if there’s construction going on by my home, or if she’s about to go to the vet. Other shoppers use them to help combat separation anxiety, jumpiness and even aggression.

“I bought this product because my dog gets so excited when she sees people and jumps all over them,” a shopper shared. “This helps her from being too aggressive.”

“I adopted a three-year-old Doberman girl and she has some anxiety when I leave the house,” another pet parent shared. “I give her two of these about 20 minutes before I leave, and they seem to take the edge off!”

Pups that get upset by loud noises particularly benefit from the treat. One shopper gives her little scaredy-dog some before thunderstorms:

“My foster dog is afraid of rain, thunder, lightning, loud noises and many more things and I have tried many products,” she wrote. “I give her two in the morning on days we are going to have rainy weather and this works! If we are going to get thunderstorms I use her Thunder Jacket and I have no problems. This stuff is amazing!”

And another reviewer gave her pup some treats before a long trip:

“I was driving to another state because I needed to visit my aging mom,” a shopper revealed. “I had four dogs to take with me, and they could get a little stir-crazy at times. These solved the problem! They definitely make the trip more tolerable for them and me. I have three in my pack, now, and one gets carsick. This stuff helps him a lot because it decreases his anxiety enough to let him sleep. It doesn't make the dogs 'druggy.' They just relax. Perfect!”

For just $9 (was $14), these inexpensive chews are a must-have, and if it saves me the heartache of watching Chloe shake all night or worse, running around my neighborhood trying to find her, it’s so worth it.

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