The 4th of July is often filled with sunshine, grilling, swimming, yard games, and other fun summertime activities. And of course, we can’t forget the fireworks! While we may enjoy the 4th of July and all the festivities, there are certain family members of ours that may not enjoy it as much—our pets.

The 4th of July can be overwhelming for pets due to the increase of unfamiliar people, smells, activities, and noises. Many pets are frightened by the loud noise of fireworks, and who can blame them? Dogs have more sensitive hearing than people, plus they have no idea where the loud noises are coming from or why they are happening. 

Tip #1: Keep Your Pet at Home

As enjoyable as you might think fireworks are, it’s not a good idea to bring your pet to a fireworks display. The startling noises combined with crowds of people can cause pets to run away and become lost. Many shelters report that the 4th of July is the busiest time of year for them as more dogs are lost on July 4 than any other day of the year. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your pet is wearing identification and is on a leash if he has to be outside for any reason. Microchipping your pet is a more permanent and reliable form of identification that can help ensure you are reunited with your pet.

Tip #2: Keep Your Pet Distracted

If you’re leaving for the evening, make sure your pet stays distracted with his favorite toys and treats. Keeping your pet inside in a safe place is essential. If your pet feels secure and comfortable in a crate, you can put him in there with some toys to keep him busy. You can also put on some calming music or the TV to help drown out the sounds of fireworks. Keep in mind that some pets become destructive when they are anxious and scared. Ensuring dogs get plenty of exercise that morning or afternoon will help tire them out and hopefully keep them calmer.

Tip #3: Consider Effective Calming Solutions

Some pets need a little help staying calm during stressful situations. There are a variety of calming solutions that may benefit your pet during 4th of July festivities. You may want to try a pheromone spray or a shirt/vest that is designed to calm pets through gentle pressure.

Tip #4: Additional Tips

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks where pets can reach them.
  • Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellents to your pet, unless they are labeled specifically for use on animals. 
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pet’s reach.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet.
  • Do not put glow-in-the-dark jewelry on your pet or allow them to play with it.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil products out of your pet’s reach.
  • Never use fireworks around your pet.

With a little planning and a few proactive steps, your family can enjoy the 4th of July while your pet stays safe and calm!