All Things Pets

Preparing Your Pet for the Fourth of July Fireworks

It’s that time of year again. Fun, fabulous fireworks! We never seem to outgrow our fascination with them. And while most folks already know that the bangs and booms can be real fear triggers for our pets, it bears repeating.

With this noisy holiday fast approaching, now is the time to doggedly prepare for your pet’s safety if you haven’t already done so. Ensure your pet’s id tags are legible and current and that your phone number and other microchip info are up to date. Many dogs panic when the fireworks start, so please check your doors, windows, and exterior gates to ensure your precious fur babies can’t escape should they find an opportunity to bolt.

If your dog fears loud noises like fireworks, show them your love by not taking him with you if you plan on celebrating the holiday outside the home. Instead, ensure he has a blanket-covered sleeping area he can burrow under. Turn on the TV (or play music) and turn the volume UP! If you own a loud floor fan, turn that on in the room where the pooch tends to frequent or where his bedding is.

Dogg COmforting E
Cuddle with your pet so he will feel safe during the fireworks

Try to make it an early evening so he is not left alone too long, or better still, STAY HOME and provide comforting petting and belly rubs while you snuggle under a blanket together.

Having a pouch of high-value treats (cheese, chicken, hotdog pieces, roast beef) is also a great idea. With a doggo that has mild reactions to fireworks, at the sound of the FIRST one, you can happily exclaim, “Oh, Yay!” and feed her a piece of the treat. Repeat this with every boom and bang while cuddling your fur baby and offering sweet verbal reassurance. This method should cause him to associate the loud noises with something good. Of course, if your dog has extreme anxiety, you can apply a thunder shirt or consider having a mild anti-anxiety medication from your vet on hand.

If you have a puppy or a young dog that has never reacted to fireworks, keep those tasty, high-value treats handy and employ the “Oh Yay”/treat/petting technique. Reassuring this way will condition the young dog to have less or possibly no trepidation as he matures.

Nancy Kerns, the editor of the Whole Dog Journal, warns that older or senior dogs who perhaps have not had adverse reactions in the past may suddenly develop them. Dogs whose hearing has changed or those who have become a little (or a lot) demented can respond differently to things as they decline. So be prepared if your usually brave boy surprises you with unexpected anxiety.

cats and fireworks E
Give your kitty places to hide so she feels safe

And let’s not forget our feline friends! Some kitties are also averse to the cracks and booms fireworks cause. Keep your cat in a room with plenty of hiding places, especially under things, and if that can be a room with a TV that you can turn on and up, so much the better. (As with our dogs, make sure your feline has all her id info up to date in case she does find a way to escape to the outdoors.) Check on her frequently with reassuring words, and if she lets you, plenty of chin scratches.


With care and attention, we’ll all get through the 4th of July and enjoy back to normal on the 5th.


zwim0434 flags E
Photo courtesy of Carol Gardner and Zelda

 Zelda and Everyone at fyi50+ Wishes You a Safe and Happy 4th of July


Laura Sutherland

Laura Sutherland is the owner of WAG-n-TRAIN pet services, East Dallas’s premier pet care provider. Laura is insured, and a member of the Professional United Petsitters (PUPs).

Related Articles

Back to top button