7 Easy Steps To Help Your Dog Through Independence Day Celebrations

Thanks to Pet Finder Safety for the Poster!


Independence day is right around the corner.

More pets are lost, and ultimately die after July 4th because they break out of the yard and try and flee from the sound of fireworks.

It is sad each year to see those that have perished and the owners that mourn their loss.

The truth is that there are some easy things that everyone can do to ensure the safety of their pets this holiday.

I was infuriated yesterday by a social media post from a so called dog trainer who ultimately blamed the owners of firework and thunderstorm sensitive dogs for not training and socializing.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish this were true because it would make helping and “fixing” these dogs so much easier.

His unethical stance just means he is making money and then, again, ultimately blaming the people.

The truth is that these particular noises can cause pain in some dogs.

Their hearing is so much better that the pops and the booms cause pain and physical harm which results in a phobic response.

Typically, it is not something that you can just “train” away.

But there are some simple things that can help.

1. Exercise During the Day

Spend time with your dog during the daylight hours working on some extreme exercise.fireworks, dog scared of fireworks, sound phobia in dogs, noise phobia in dogs

Have you been putting off that 6 mile hike up the mountain?  As long as your dog is fit enough and you bring water and a way to cool him, spend the day physically challenging him!

When I lived in CO I would hike the Flatirons (one of my favorite places) it was shady in most spots and I packed my dogs backpack full of ice packs and cold water to help cool his body and provide drinking water.

Think how tired he will be when evening rolls around if you keep him up exercising and stimulated all day?

I also like swimming.  I work on perfecting my dogs’ dock diving skills and lots and lots of swimming when I can on the 4th of July.  My family gets to either play at the pool or on the beach and I can also make sure that my dogs are exhausted.

Find your favorite outdoor activity (boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking, etc) and include your dog for the day!

This ensures he will be almost too tired to care when the festivities begin.

2. Potty Right Before Dark

Restrict his water in the early evening and perhaps food and potty him right before it gets dark so that he doesn’t have to go outside when the noises begin.

3. Leave Him Home

Dogs don’t particularly care for watching fireworks.

Most don’t understand it and the visual stimulation, along with the smell of things burning can even turn a dog that didn’t mind the sound into a scared and phobic dog.

Plus, you owe it to your dog to leave if he is even a little afraid.

Isn’t it easier to just not bring him?

To me it isn’t worth the risk.

Honestly, I prefer to stay home with my dogs and skip the festivities myself, but at the very least leave your furry best friend at home.

4. Give Him a Safe Environment

Put him inside.

Close the windows.

Crank up the air conditioning (he should be hot and tired after his day out with you).

If your dog has noise sensitivity don’t put him through the pain of shooting off fireworks at your home or in your back yard.  Go somewhere else to set  them off or travel to a friends to watch their fireworks.

It isn’t fair to bring the fear to his own back yard and so close to his house.

5. Utilize a Crate

And, put him in a crate where he can’t hurt himself.

Many dogs hurl themselves out of windows to get away from the noise of fireworks.

6. Leave the Lights On

Leave the lights on all over the house so he doesn’t see the flickers of light from outside.

As silly as it sounds these flickers can mimic thunderstorms and are also something that is overwhelming our dogs just don’t understand.

Think of it from your dog’s point of view… when the sky lights up at night it is either a storm or fire (both are something to avoid for even an outdoor animal).

7. Turn on Soundfireworks, dog scared of fireworks, sound phobia in dogs, noise phobia in dogs

Fireworks can be easier to drown out with noise that thunderstorms (because of the drop in barometric pressure that comes with storms).

Turn on fans! Turn on LOUD music. Turn up the TV.

Static noise that is loud enough will help your dog relax and will lessen the chances of him hearing the cracks and booms.

If you follow these easy steps you will both have an calmer and safer Independence Day!


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  1. Jerry says:

    Thank you


  2. Karen says:

    Great suggestions!!


  3. k bowron says:

    This is just commonsense and what I was brought up with by my parents as we have had dogs for donkeys years.If you love dogs you do what is best for them to keep them safe and sound .


  4. Ann says:

    Thank you for the excellent suggestions.


  5. Thank you so much for your tips. We prefer to stay home on July 4.


  6. Cecille Johnston says:

    Very helpful and informative. Enjoyed advice and was nice to find no ads selling anything.


  7. Jan Brocious says:

    Owners, check your city ordinances. In most cities, it is illegal for fireworks to be set off within city limits.
    This is the case where we live. Last year we had so many of our neighbors shooting off fireworks next door and around our neighborhood up til 2am, our Shih Tzu wouldn’t go out to potty. She cryed all night. Kept us awake too.
    The other day I called city hall and found out that this was illegal. I requested that the police dept patrol our subdivision. They will obliging us because it is illegal ($500 fine), and Tuesday is a workday. The loud sound ordinance takes effect at 10am Monday night too.
    I will also be reporting any offenders to the police, and they’re response time is 2 mins.


  8. nanc/ says:

    I have the same issue however, unless u know exactly where the fireworks are located it is difficult for
    The police to find offender. Try rescue remedy lavender and calming collars. They will help but nothing is 100%. Nancy d dog sitter


  9. Pat says:

    I’ve tried all these things, but still my dogs try to get away, pant heavily shake all over, so I will give them 4 drops of Bach Flower Essences Rescue which helps. I did lose my little Yorkee but was extremely lucky to find her.


  10. Geoff Gall says:

    At our house, we put 6 or so tennis balls in the dryer, turn it on, and situate our dog beside it.

    It seems to help a lot.


  11. Peggy says:

    All good advice. I have a 4 yr. old Morkie ans she is petrified of the noise. i try all the things you have suggested but she will hide and there is no consoling her. The worst is some people in the area started last night and tonight the big ones go off from the inner harbor. It breaks my heart to see her scared.


  12. Mugzee66 says:

    Naturally, non medical approaches are best, but I just read a New York Times article that says they have found a new drug for dogs with fireworks fears. It is called Sileo. I don’t have any recommendations, just see if you can find the article and/or talk to your vet. Then decide for yourselves.


  13. Mugzee66 says:

    Oh, and the tight wraps (like the Thundershirt) can help some dogs, but save your receipt in case it doesn’t work. (it didn’t for mine). I’m lucky my dog is afraid of EVERYTHING but fireworks. Go figure.


  14. Merlee Konecki says:

    I heard that you can wrap your doggie in a big towel and keep him close to you which should help him feel safer.


  15. Ruth says:

    My dog seems to cope better with the fireworks if he can sit next to me and I am gently petting him. He is afraid of the noise and hears it way before I do. Last year when fireworks started, he took a running leap from the floor, and in one shot he was on me and tried to hide underneath my arm and behind my back. That is serious fear.


  16. Muriel says:

    I have never had to do anything with my dogs in over 50 years of owning them. I like to watch fireworks and the two last 2 years my latest dog wanted to go out to watch them I love watching them and have found that because I like them and they don’t bother me neither do they bother the animals. (Theory: the owners are up tight thinking the fireworks will bother the dogs and the dogs pick up on it.


  17. Karen Stone says:

    After trying the loud music and staying right beside my dog, which didn’t work, as she flew to the back bathroom and got into the shower stall and then on top of the toilet and sink…shaking with fear, I will take her to Pet Smart for an overnight. That worked last year beautifully! Hope it does this year too…


    Minette Reply:

    unfortunately my guess is she is just as scared there but without the comforts of home.


  18. Linda says:

    Thanks for the advice and I bought my dog a thunder jacket that works wonders keeping my dog calm. I love it and she comes to me to put it on her. During fireworks or storms. I love it and so does she. It swadels her like a baby. Find at dog stores ‘Vet’s office Or online.


  19. Kathy says:

    I am so happy to hear your reply Linda. I just purchased a thunder shirt for my Sish Tzu , and I am hoping it will help him tonight.


  20. Kathy W says:

    My rat terrier is on Solloquin and I have a pheromone diffuser in the bedroom, where he also goes when he is scared by storms and noises. He also would not go out last night or tonight, The neighbors start the firecrackers and bottle rockets before dark and then the illegal fireworks after dark. Now our community fireworks have been postponed because of rain until tomorrow night, so we get to prolong the agony for another day.


  21. Tammy says:

    We also stay home with our dogs and skip the festivities. We tried the Thundershirt this year but it just caused my little guy more stress. His curly tail drooped, his erect ears went flat and he refused to even walk in it. Took it off and he was back to normal bouncing around. Once the fireworks started, yes illegal where I live too, but it sounds like a war zone out there, I gave him small bites of canned cheese (the kind you put on crackers) when a loud one would startle him. That helped a lot because he would look for his cheese instead of hiding and paid less attention to the smaller booms. I did play pretty hard with him earlier, but he is pretty high strung and it didn’t make him tired at all. He actually likes the room dark with the drapes (lined heavy curtains) pulled better than the lights on when the fireworks start. He has a crate, but didn’t attempt to go into it – he knows it is his ‘safe place’ and will go in under normal stress like thunderstorms. This is the first year I have used the cheese reward and it really seems to have helped. I sure felt less helpless trying to make him feel safe. Food for thought, we have New Years in a few months!


  22. William Adams says:

    i have a 7 month old great dane and he is great through storms and fireworks his biggest problem is rain he hates to go out in the rain i literally have to drag him out the door when he seeès it is raining to go potty and once he goes it is a bee line for the door to get in but what i donèt understand is that he likes water and swimming


    Minette Reply:

    storms are different than swimming


  23. Claudia Gale says:

    It is ABSOLUTELY illegal for us (in Massachusetts, anyway) to either possess fireworks or to light them off. But who is always at our little town beach, overseeing others doing this very thing? And who also set off their own….in uniform, I might add. THE POLICE! Moreover, the next day (the 5th, as in today) the beach is totally littered with the remnants of the fireworks (which still have chemicals in them….and will eventually go out into the ocean)….but people leave their beer cans and bottles, dirty diapers, broken chairs, and general trash…..FOR OTHERS to pick up! Bad enough when people from out of town come and do this….but residents of the town also do it. When I was younger and not disabled, I would always go and pick up BAGS and BAGS (the big garden sized ones) of crap….and toss it at the dump. One year, I brought them to the Town Hall, as my complaints went on deaf ears….and they told me if I didn’t removed the 6 bags I’d brought inside for them to get an idea of what only ONE person was picking up (because there were others also helping to clean up)….they were going to call the POLICE and have me arrested. Nice, Cape Cod town….no longer Patti Page’s Cape…. :>(


  24. Claudia Gale says:


    I forgot to add….if you bring your dog (who would do such a thing? they’re SO afraid of the crowd and the noise) you will get a 100 dollar fine per dog. Even though they’re ALLOWED on the beach….and fireworks are NOT. They will give you a ticket for having a dog on the beach….but not for doing something illegal. Makes no sense to me. We live in a lawless society, now. I’m glad I’m old and lived in a time where dogs were family members….and people weren’t treated “like dogs”. God bless dogs! (and people too…)


  25. Julie says:

    Brad you have common sense advice which I have used. Poor dog of mine hunkered near the toilet and is still a little freaked today. I have good luck with CBD oils which is a derivative made from cannibalize that doesn’t make the dog “high”. But I live in a legal state. Just a suggestion.


  26. charles says:

    Thanks verry helpful


  27. Cherie Cash says:

    Wish I had seen this prior to my poor pups experience. She was playing nicely with neighbor dog at our family Lake cabin…the across the Lake…over zealous celebrator lit off couple of M-80s….to which my pup scurried around the cabin up the drive and was missing in action …and my fear more that someone would snatch her. But with a sigh of relief.. she came knocking at the door at 2am after all the hoop-latest died down! Any advice for next year?


  28. Mauricio says:

    I wish I new this information before my dog is so afraid she doesn’t want to go out side to my back yard where always play.If any one can advise me to reverse this damage to my dog I will appreciate,i hope giving some time will help


  29. Reita Ash says:

    I live in Las Vegas and these idiots set off fireworks for any and every occasion. It does not matter that they are illegal in the city limits or that they terrify animals, small children and old people. There is very little consideration or respect by some people for the human (or animal) race. My little dog gets more terrified every time they start setting the dam things off. Since we had a 4 day weekend this 4th it was really hell at our house. I give her tranquilizers but she still is terrified for the entire time. Just as she starts to calm down someone else has to set off some more. It goes from around 6 in the evenings til after 2am. I find lots of firecracker casings in my yard after every “fun filled” night for these jack asses.


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