Keeping Your Pet Safe During 4th Of July

4th of July

Most pets don’t look forward to 4th of July because that means it’s fireworks time. For the most part, pets are not a fan of fireworks and are startled by the noises. Here are some safety tips to help you and your pet get through 4th of July.

  • Keep pets indoors during the celebrations. It is recommended to close the curtains and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Many pets will want to seek comfort in their crate, bed or house.
  • If you must be outside with your pet, use a leash or carrier at all times. This will be helpful just in case if your pet becomes scared by any noise and tries to bolt or escape.
  • Keep pets away from matches, open fires, and fireworks. Pets may try to sniff (or eat) fireworks, and pet hair can easily catch on fire if they are too close to the fireworks.
  • Take your pet for a walk to “take care of business” before the fireworks start just in case if your pet becomes frightened during the fireworks and has an accident.
  • Make sure that your pet’s ID is up to date.

More pet safety tips for the 4th of July after the jump.


What can I do if my pet is frightened of fireworks and thunder?

Some animals do fine and don’t seem to notice the fireworks. Some do well with just having their owner near, talking in a soothing voice and petting or holding the pet. And then there are some pets that cannot be calmed by petting or talking to them - they are simply too upset. Animals that are frightened/stressed can hurt themselves and possibly escape if left alone, and the results can be fatal. Frightened animals running loose are in great danger of being hit by a car.

For these animals, it is best to provide a safe place, such as a carrier, to be in while the fireworks last. This alone may be enough of a comfort to soothe some pets. If the carrier is not enough to calm the animal, medication (in the form of a tranquilizer) may be warranted. Tranquilizers are not for every pet. Talk to your vet about medical options that are suitable for your dog or cat. A patient-doctor relationship is needed before dispensing medications, so if your pet hasn’t seen the vet yet, an appointment will need to be made to examine the animal to ensure that there aren’t any underlying heart or other problems, and base any medications on current weight.

To help your pet become accustomed to thunder and other loud noises, you can try some behavior modification. This technique involves playing a recording of thunder at very low levels. Use the time to reassure your pet that everything is fine. Gradually increase the volume slowly over time, as your pet is able to handle the sounds without getting stressed. Many stores carry “relaxation” types of music, and I have seen several rain/thunderstorm CDs available. This technique does require time and patience for it to be effective. Start slow, and do short sessions only at first.

Praising the pet for remaining calm is important. Be careful not to overdo praising, you want the pet to feel that this is “situation normal” as much as possible.

9 Responses to “Keeping Your Pet Safe During 4th Of July”

  1. Steve says:

    I have nothing against a professionally produced fireworks show-event.

    City bans are to protect civilized people from uncivilized idiots and their inconsiderate behavior. Regardless of what they think Freedom isn’t about the right to disregard the rules and endanger peoples property or the right to disrupt the lives of people. Go somewhere out in the woods where you can shoot off your toys without getting on peoples nerves, scaring the hell out of people in some cases, and disturbing their quiet and or peaceful enjoyment of the holiday. As a matter of fact forget that idea. Without a doubt you’ll end up causing a major fire. Who’d a thunk it! And believe it or not some people actually work the day after the 4th. Believe it or not some people would prefer their house not get burned down by a rocket landing on their roof. Believe it or not some people don’t like M-80’s being lit up every 30 minutes from 12:00 to 4:00 in the morning outside their residences when they and their children are trying to sleep. If you can not control your impulses and be responsive to the needs and rights of others you shouldn’t even have the right to have these things in your possession PERIOD. It’s out of control.

  2. Senas Mom says:

    Thank you, Steve, for saying what I was feeling. I am actually terrified of fireworks. It’s probably an evolutionary response saying “get away from things blowing up”. Wishing everyone a quiet, thoughtful, sane, and happy holiday.

  3. Gerry says:

    Steve said it all. My neighbors have been putting off fireworks for three nights in a row untill the wee hours of the morning. My poor pets are inside shaking like crazy with big scared eyes. Iam always glad when the 4th is over. You say that to the wrong person and they think you are anti-america. Glad to see other people feel the same way. I feel for all the animals out there that are homeless and scared or have pet parents that dont care. One of my neighbors dogs jumped their fence last yr scared from fireworks and was run over. Have a good holiday and keep your pets safe.

  4. custom pet memorial portraits says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips to us. My dad used to put something on out dog’s ears to keep him from hearing noisy fireworks or blasts. Sometimes he also adds some stylish pet shades or eyeglasses to hide the pet’s sensitive eyes from flashes of fireworks.

  5. elliott says:

    The fireworks go off in my hood on New Year’s, Memorial Day, Graduation, two weeks prior to July 4th, July 4th, 2 weeks after July 4th, Labor Day, Football games. I am the BIGGEST biatch in our hood during fireworks. IMO, if they want explosions, let them go to Iraq.

  6. mittens says:

    of course now that my new easily feaked out feral tortie cats are used to the gun shots in the neighborhood….

    my other cats are old and jaded and never seemed to notice the fireworks but the new cats climb the walls when a siren goes by.

    i love fireworks- as in professional ones not the numb skulls running around with bottle rockets annoying everyone.

  7. Traci says:

    So, Elliott,

    ROTFL! I unfortunately recognize that one too well. Do you also live (like me) in a “University District”?

  8. NH says:

    My neighbors were shooting off fireworks the other night at 7pm!! 7pm!! Hellllooooo….the suns still out for the love of God! I love fireworks but when they fall into the hands of idiots, then God help us all!

  9. Laura says:

    My mother in law took in a ten year old Papillion two years ago from the ASPCA. The poor little thing could never get used to the noise from fireworks. This year after three straight days of ridiculous noise from M-80’s being lit off in the neighborhood…the poor Papillion died. Vet says of a heart attack. Who ever thinks that you can’t die from fright is dead wrong.

    If some people think it is cool to hear such loud explosions, why aren’t they over in Iraq? I hear there is plenty of loud noise over there!

    We will remember this 4th of July as the year we lost Coco.

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