Is There Something You Can Plug In to Stop Dogs Being Scared of Fireworks?

Fireworks produce anxiety and fear in many dogs.
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Most people enjoy celebrating Independence Day and the ringing in of a New Year. For your dog, however, festivities like these mean anxiety as his sensitive ears are assaulted by the loud, frightening boom of fireworks. Luckily for Fido, plug-in devices are available to help ease his fear.

Pheromone Therapy

Certain aromas have a calming effect. Animals produce natural hormones that carry chemical signals capable of influencing the behavior of other animals within the same species. After giving birth, female dogs naturally produce a calming pheromone that helps their puppies feel safe and secure. Pheromone therapy uses synthetic forms of pheromones to alleviate phobias and stress in animals.

Natural vs. Synthetic Pheromones

Synthetic pheromones are hormones with chemical signals produced artificially in a lab. Natural pheromones are hormones with chemical signals produced naturally in the body of an animal. When scientists recognized the impact that natural hormones have on an animal’s behavior and emotional state, they set out to imitate that effect through the use of synthetic hormones. The synthetic pheromones found in products that reduce canine anxiety are designed to mimic the calming effect produced by natural pheromones.

Pheromone Diffusers

Introduce a sense of calm into your dog’s environment with a pheromone diffuser. A pheromone diffuser is an electric device that plugs into the wall and releases synthetic pheromones that produce a calming effect for dogs. When your dog inhales the pheromones in the air, they trigger a sense of calm that reduces fear and anxiety during stressful situations like being exposed to the sound of fireworks. The two main manufacturers of plug-in diffusers for pheromone therapy are Ceva Sante Animale, which produces DAP Dog Appeasing Pheromone diffusers, and Veterinary Product Labs, which produces a similar pheromone diffuser called Comfort Zone. Each pheromone diffuser produces a calming effect over 650 square feet and lasts approximately four weeks. For best results, begin using pheromone diffusers in your dog’s environment at least a week or two before an anticipated stressful situation.

Forms of Pheromone Therapy

Pheromone therapy for dogs is available in various forms. If your dog gets stressed out by traveling in a vehicle and could benefit from pheromone therapy, opt for a pheromone therapy spray or wearable collar instead of the plug-in diffuser. Many commercial products now make use of synthetic pheromones to alleviate fear caused by any stressful situation like loud noises, separation anxiety or visits to the vet.