7 Tips to Prepare Your Dog for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many, filled with fireworks, barbecues, and festive gatherings. However, for our canine companions, it can be a time of anxiety and stress due to loud noises and disruptions.

More dogs go missing between July 4-6, namely the Fourth of July, than any other time of the year. Across the country, animal control organizations  report a 30%-60% increase in lost pets during that time. 

 Here’s how you can prepare your dog for the Fourth of July to ensure they stay safe and comfortable during the celebrations.

1. Create a Safe Space

Identify a quiet, secure place in your home where your dog can retreat. This could be a room far from the noise or a crate where they feel safe.

Make this space comfortable with their favorite blankets, toys, and maybe even an item of clothing with your scent on it to provide comfort. Offering your dog puzzle feeders and enrichment activities in this space can also help take their mind off of their anxiety.

2. Use Calming Aids

Consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers, calming vests, or music designed for dogs. For dogs that struggle with noise-related anxiety, these can help soothe your dog and provide them with additional support during the loud noises.

3. Desensitize Your Dog to Firework Sounds

In the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, try playing recordings of firework sounds at a low volume. When your dog notices the sound, reward their calm behavior with a tasty treat. Gradually increase the volume over time and continue to reward your pet with high-value treats.

This training can help desensitize your dog to the sounds of fireworks, making them less stressed when the big event happens.

4. Update Identification and Microchip Information

Ensure your dog’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date. The noise of fireworks can cause dogs to panic and escape, so it's crucial they have proper ID in case they get lost.

Microchips store an up-to-date record of your name, phone number, and address, and they’re easily scanned by a local animal shelter or vet.  If your dog does escape, having a microchip makes it 2.5 times more likely that they will be reunited with you.


5. Exercise Early in the Day

Give your dog a good workout earlier in the day, when the chances of hearing fireworks are minimal. Not only does this offer a calmer, quieter period to get your dog’s exercise in for the day, but a tired dog is more likely to be calm and can handle stress better.

6. Stay Home or Plan for a Pet-Sitter

If possible, stay home with your dog during the fireworks. If you must go out, consider hiring a pet sitter who can stay with them and provide comfort during the peak noise times.

7. Secure Your Property

Ensure that your yard and home are secure to prevent your dog from escaping. Double-check any doors or windows in and around your dog’s safe room, as well fences and gates in your yard to make sure they’re locked and there are no holes that your dog could slip out of.

Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure During Holiday Fireworks

By taking these steps, you can help make the Fourth of July, as well as other fireworks-celebrated holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, a less stressful experience for both you and your pup.

Preparation is key to ensuring that everyone, including your furry family member, can enjoy the holiday safely and happily.