Most Dogs Hate July 4th. Here’s How to Help That.

July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with dogs in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for them. Veterinarians say that July 3rd is usually the most-trafficked day in their offices, with clients coming in to get drugs for their dogs.

A few years ago, I found a lost dog on the 4th of July. He was obviously a well-fed, groomed, and trained dog that escaped his yard when he heard the fireworks. When I called our local Humane Society, I was informed that it is the busiest time of the year for them, as more dogs are found wandering loose on July 4th than any other day of the year in the U.S.

Last week, I was invited by Pet360 to be part of a Google hangout panel discussion with a veterinarian and dog trainer called:
“Help Your Pet Survive Fireworks and Summer Thunderstorms.”†Below are some of the tips we discussed.

Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your canine household:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If itís hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they canít orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.) If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

4. Keep the curtains closed, and if possible, also the windows.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do Ė like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Sound Therapy: iCalmPet†is specially designed classical music clinically demonstrated to calm canine anxiety issues.

8. Desensitization combined with Sound Therapy: The Canine Noise Phobia series includes the above mentioned music along with progressive sounds of fireworks and positive reinforcement training protocol by Victoria Stilwell.

How have your pets reacted to fireworks in previous years?†Have you tried any successful techniques to ease their anxiety?

Wishing you and your canine and feline households a safe holiday.



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Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer8 months ago

Interesting suggestions. Here in El Salvador fire crackers are blown up by almost everyon on Christmas Eve.

Carole R
Carole R8 months ago

Good ideas. thanks . 🎉

Chrissie R
Chrissie R8 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Megan M.
Megan M.2 years ago

Great information for owners here! We also just released a new upgraded infographic on the very same topic of keeping canines safe for 4th of July fireworks! Make sure to check it out:

Donna Davis
Donna Davis3 years ago

Still dealing with this and it's almost august !! Damn neighbor will not stop no matter what i say to him !! My poor dogs !! Cops won't do anything about it !!

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Saff hated the fireworks too, even hates the lawnmower and any high pitched noise. TYFS

Caroline d.
Caroline d3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this very interesting and useful article !
Poor little dogs ...
Blessings for everyone.

Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Take good care of our angels

Christine Jones
Christine J3 years ago

I'm currently fostering a dog who has thunder/firework phobia and is a professional escape artist. Not a good combination. I find that dogs pick up on your emotional state, so if you are (understandably) worried and tense about the coming noises, they'll become even more stressed. I make a special effort to be calm and carry on as though everything is perfectly normal. Sometimes you have to fake it 'til you make it. We are making great progress.

greenplanet e.
greenplanet e4 years ago