Tips for a Safe 4th of July for Pets

Celebrations are fun for people, but can be scary for out pets. Here are a few suggestions to help keep your pet safe for the holidays.

  • If you are going to a fireworks display, leave your dog at home. Fireworks can scare your pet and he may run off or may even bite someone.
  • If you leave your pet at home, do not leave them outside. Dog’s hearing is 10 times more sensitive than ours and firework bangs coupled with the bursts of lights, may cause your dog to escape the back yard or injure himself.
  • When keeping your dog inside, create a special area or a “den” where your dog can feel safe. Use a crate or an airline kennel, a laundry room or the bathroom. Keep him out of rooms with windows. I have had to stitch up many dogs that have bolted through the pane glass windows during fireworks and thunderstorms when left alone.
  • You can also try leaving music on for your dog. Classical selections seem to soothe them better than rock.
  • Consider hiring a sitter for your pet on nights when the fireworks are at their worst, or stay home with your pet.
  • When home with your pet and they are acting scared, coddling them to try to soothe them actually has the opposite affect and re-enforces their fear, thus¬† making it worse. Try to ignore them or tell them to lay down or put them in their safe spot with the lights off and the doors closed. De-sensitizing them to the noise prior to the fireworks is the best way, but it does take¬† time and effort on your part to complete the de-sensitization.
  • All natural Calming Yums may also help to mellow your dog when combined with behavior modification.
  • Melatonin is a natural sedative used by many to help them sleep at night and giving it to your dog may help with the anxiety.
  • If none of these methods are helping, you can discuss more options with your veterinarian for sedation medications or a certified dog trainer for separation anxiety issues.
  • Keep your pet’s id tag on them at all times. Consider implanting a microchip for permanent identification in the event you and your pet do get separated during festivities


If you should have a pet emergency, please check our Emergency page for contact numbers and a map to the Animal ER.