8 Tips for a Less Stressful 4th of July with your Dog

Many dogs are frightened by the sound of fireworks. This year, more than any other, it’s likely that “backyard fireworks” will fill in where public ones leave off. With those jolting booms hitting closer to home than ever before, we thought it was a good time to share 8 tips we recommend to protect your pet(s) and help minimize their anxiety before, during and after the 4th of July fireworks season.

Keep Them Safe

We tend to see a large increase (sometimes as much as 30%) in stray animals that come to us during the 4th of July holiday celebrations. Making sure there are no breaches in your backyard fence if you have one, and that doors are all tightly shut, will help keep your dog safe.

ID Tags and Microchip

Make sure your pet’s microchip is current and her tags are on and secure. Taking all the safety precautions possible to keep them safe doesn’t account for accidents that can happen, especially when a pet is stressed out. Consider up-to-date tags and microchip as your back-up plan.

Distract Them 

It’s hard for your dog to get too stressed out or upset when he has a delicious and entertaining (xylitol-free) peanut butter-filled Kong. Keeping your pet busy with a high reward treat and activity will help distract them from what’s going on outside.

Drown Out the Sounds

Put your pet in a room with television, music or white noise playing to help mask the sounds and keep them calm and less aware of what’s going on outside.


There are plenty of dogs that are not so easily distracted from fireworks. For those pets, we recommend a Thundershirt that tackles anxiety and stress with all-natural constant pressure, like a hug.

Counter Conditioning

Helping your pet associate the sound of fireworks with good things like treats, toys or praise is another all natural way of addressing the issue. Just like in training with positive reinforcement methods, it may take a little longer, but will eventually help them build up a stress-resistance to that noise.


Just like you might do on a day when you’ll be away from your dog for awhile, getting them exercised and “pooped out” in advance of the evening fireworks display, is a great way to help take the edge off for them.

Call Your Veterinarian

If all else fails, and distraction, counter conditioning and all of the other methods mentioned here do not help, you can contact your veterinarian to discuss possible medication options to help relieve your pet’s stress.

Let’s all make it a great 4th of July by enjoying celebrations however we can, (because we all really need that right about now) and by doing all we can to keep our dogs safe, secure and as stress-free as possible this holiday.

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