How to Help Your Dog Beat Their Firework Fright & Stay Safe This Fourth of July

Phoebe Cooper · Jun 29, 2022 · All

Soon, the sky will become ablaze again with stunning firework displays to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. While this is an event that most people look forward to eagerly, it often results in some serious fright for our pets. Not only that, but the Fourth of July consistently claims the largest percentage of missing pets every year.

According to PetAmberAlert, there is between a 30-60% increase in pets lost every year between July 4th and July 6th, with 14% of those pets becoming lost permanently. Furthermore, a staggering 30-60% of lost pets are euthanized every year due to insufficient identification, which makes linking lost pets to their owners impossible at times.

That said, while you may be tempted to take your pup as your plus one to your forthcoming freedom-filled extravaganza, it simply isn’t in their best interest to bring them along. Continue reading for a complete guide on how to keep your dog safe and content this coming Fourth of July.

Keep your dog indoors & create a safe space for them

  • Close the doors and windows and shut the curtains and blinds to create a barricade for noise and light.
  • Play soothing music and/or have the TV on to provide your pet with some peaceful distractions in the form of white noise.
  • Pets often prefer compact spaces when stressed because they provide them with a sense of security. Therefore, crate your dog or confine them to a single room if possible to make them feel more comfortable when the firework-fueled fiestas begin.
  • Tire them out before you head out – Provide your pup with lots of exhilarating activity before you leave so that they have less energy pent up to release in the form of anxiety once the fireworks start.
  • If you’re staying home with your pet or taking them with you elsewhere, offer them some tasty treats and their favorite toys to help them take their minds off the discordant commotion happening outside. Natural Farm has a complete range of all-natural chews, treats, and bones which provide healthy distractions for your pup to enjoy. Just don’t leave them alone with their treats as this could be unsafe for them if they don’t chew them properly.

    Don’t leave your dog unattended outside

    Even if your dog just needs to go outside to go to relieve themselves, be sure to keep your eyes on them at all times. Better yet, keep them leashed. The sounds of fireworks and firecrackers can seriously spook your dog, and this can result in some truly unpredictable behavior, such as your pup suddenly conjuring up the strength and stamina of a thousand bunny rabbits culminating in an unforeseeable fence hop that could potentially permanently separate you from your pup. 

    Provide them with PUP-to-date ID

    …And no, their IDs aren’t meant to gain them access into the nearest booze-infused bar (although side note: it is pleasing to picture dogs getting down as sober DJs, see below):

    While we can be hopeful that preventative measures will keep our pups safely at home, it’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. When startled, dogs can do things that are very uncharacteristic for them, such as hopping over a fence. 

    If something like this were to happen, it’s incredibly helpful if your pet is microchipped and wearing a tag that provides updated ownership information that will make reunification easier to accomplish. As pets can unfortunately slip out of their collars, microchips provide a little extra insurance for your pup in case they get away.

    To reiterate, according to PetAmberAlert, a devastating 30-60% of all missing pets that wind up in shelters end up euthanized due to insufficient identification. 

    Calm their anxiety

    If your dog is particularly anxious, you may consider equipping them with something like an anti-anxiety sweater or shirt. Created for pups who are frightened by thunderstorms and fireworks, these types of shirts are designed to wrap dogs somewhat like a swaddle to provide them with a constant and subtle pressure which may be calming and reassuring to them.

    If that isn’t enough and your dog seems like they require more advanced anxiety-reducing measures, speak to your vet to see if medication might be right for your pup.

    If you do decide to bring your pup along to your gathering, follow these tips:

    Keep the alcohol out of reach & other toxins to be aware of

    Alcohol is toxic to dogs, so while we strongly encourage you to leave your dog at home as opposed to bringing them along to your Fourth of July celebration, if you do decide to have them tag along, keep the alcohol out of reach and educate your peers to do the same to ensure your dog doesn’t accidentally indulge themselves.

    Other common summer event materials that may be toxic to your dog include sunscreen, citronella oil, and the DEET that is commonly found in bug spray. 

    Know which foods are safe for consumption

    Independence Day is well known for its BBQ-style bashes, and of course your pup is going to be eager to get their noses into all the delicious foods that are out and about – it’s the stuff of doggy dreams!

    Foods that you should be wary about giving your dog include cooked bones, fruits with pits in them, and meats and veggies that have been seasoned as they could contain harmful ingredients like garlic and onion. Not only that, but your pup could also possibly get burned at the grill in all of their anticipation.

    Not all BBQ foods are unsafe for your dog to consume, however, and some actually have health benefits for your pup! Check out this blog for more information on which BBQ foods your dog can enjoy, worry-free.  

    Also be sure to keep your dog hydrated during the festivities!

    So remember: although we may personally be excited by the prospect of colorful explosions, our pets are not, so don’t bring them along if it isn’t necessary, and don’t take it paw-sonally that they may not want to attend! 

    We would love to see how you have prepared a safe space for your pup this year or to see them decked out in their patriotic gear. Be sure to tag #LetsChewNatural so that we can follow along!