Preparing for the Fireworks

Posted on: July 3, 2018

Summertime, although fun for most, can make pets anxious. Not only do they have to suffer the wrath of Thor in the form of lightning bolts and booming thunder, they also have to endure the sometimes juvenile, dubiously patriotic displays of fireworks put on haphazardly by friends and neighbors.

Below are some tips to try and help your furry friends make it through this experience with minimal anxiety.



  1. Consider taking a night trip in the car to a remote getaway. If your fur baby is a fan of car rides this makes for an ideal situation. Pop in the car and take a mini road trip with your pup.


  1. Board your pets for the night. Boarding facilities are a great idea for this time of year, most all animal people know that the loud BOOMS and CRACKS of fireworks tend to set your pet on edge and will do everything in their power to provide a safe place for your four legged friend to spend the night.


OK, so what if neither of these options work … especially considering the neighborhood children who consider the 4th of July a week-long extravaganza of noise, fire, and lights?


  1. Sound-proof and white-noise your house starting well in advance of the festivities. TVs, radios, heavy curtains, closed windows and lots of AC (if you can afford it) work wonders. Hanging out in the most cozy, shut-in room can handle the problem, too. Snuggle up with your pet in the basement (if that’s an option) and watch your favorite movie with the volume up higher than usual. Sound machines are great as well, they have many options of different sounds to choose from


  1. None of the above options work for your pet? Consider calling your vet and getting a prescription to help with the situation. Now be patient with your vet clinic as they will have already dealt with numerous others for the same reason. We care about your fur children and do everything in our power to make sure these situations are handled with the utmost care. We appreciate your patience.


Just as for thunderstorm phobia, recognize that stepping in early to calm your pets is the way to go. If every year brings an increasing level of anxiety, you’ve got to take steps to reduce exposure beforehand. If not, every year will bring out new heightened versions of the worst in your pets. Talk to your veterinarian if it’s severe.

Preparing in advance:

Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information.

If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.

If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.

Take a current photo of all of your pets just incase they are needed.

If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems.

Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks. Leave a tv, radio or sound machine on in the room with them.

If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.

Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.

Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.

Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.

Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people.

Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.

Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.

If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.

Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

After the celebrations:

Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.

If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.


As Always, be safe and enjoy the festivities!