4th of July Fireworks Can Be Frightening for Dogs

As a former search & rescue volunteer for lost pets, I can attest that a large majority of missing dog cases happen during the summertime around the 4th of July. This is an exciting time of year for many people, who enjoy festivities with family and friends having cookouts, pool parties and, of course, fireworks. While we’re all eager to witness the yearly display of bright lights and loud bangs from the fireworks, our furry friends however, are not so thrilled. Many people don’t realize that fireworks can be incredibly scary and stressful for dogs. Much like some dogs are very fearful of thunderstorms, fireworks can give them the same uneasy feeling. If you happen to have your pooch outside during show time, he may just flee the scene. I’ve seen numerous cases where this exact scenario has occurred. Dogs run away to get away from the sounds of the fireworks and the distracted pet owner doesn’t realize until it’s too late. To avoid this at all costs, here are some ideas to help put your dog more at ease during the fireworks display.

  • If possible, arrange ahead of time to have your dog stay at a friend or relative’s house away from the fireworks.
  • If your dog will be staying at home, take him out for a long walk and some play time before the party begins. Any kind of exercise prior to the event will tire him out thus causing less stress later on.
  • Bring your dog inside the house before the fireworks begin. Confine him to one room or area of the house where he is most comfortable. Make sure his crate is accessible as many dogs find solace in being inside of their crate when they are stressed.
  • Give your dog a comfort toy. Whether it is a Kong filled with treats, his favorite stuffed animal or a security blanket, this will help to distract him.
  • Make sure all windows and blinds are shut in the area where your pet is located.
  • Use background music or a television to help drown out the noise.
  • Purchase a Thundershirt. Thundershirts are specially designed to provide a gentle hugging effect which helps to calm your dog during high stress events.
  • Consult with your veterinarian ahead of time to possibly get a prescription for anti-anxiety medications (in extreme cases). A number of herbal remedies are also available.
  • Hire a pet sitter! What better way to make sure your furry friends are happy and content than to have a professional pet sitter on hand to stay with your dog? A pet sitter is not only useful during the fireworks show, but also can help throughout the entire event to ensure that your dog is occupied and does not run outside accidentally when someone comes in or out of the house.

 Written by: Randi Tomaszewski, Professional Pet Sitter for Sarah’s Pet Sitting

 *Interested in hiring a professional pet sitter for the  4th of July?  Please “REQUEST INFO”