1) Definitely do not expose them to the great fireworks show in the sky. They will not enjoy it, even if you will.
2) Do not “reward” them for scared behavior as this will only make it worse.
3) Do not scold them for their fretful behavior, it’s not their fault they feel scared.
4) Sometimes there may have been something in the dog’s past that scared him/her. Before a loud event, try positive-reinforcement by having him near you and test out different sounds – for example: a bottle opening, a drum banging, a loud knocking, a textbook falling onto the floor, snapping bubble wrap, etc. Reward your dog if he/she does not react. If he/she does react, distract him right away with something else to change the frame of mind.
5) Try different distracting/enticing things while the fireworks are going off – treats, calm talking, a nice walk, or if need be, keep him inside and let him just hang with the family, picking up on the overall calm vibe, or as Cesar Milan calls it “calm assertive energy.”
6) Administer natural calming aids, such as Rescue Remedy. In extreme cases, your veterinarian can prescribe a calming medication.
7) Some dogs prefer to stay in their room or kennel when feeling nervous, if this is where they prefer to be, let them. Just be sure there is nothing around that can hurt them (electric cords, etc.) We also use a baby monitor so if we are outside, we can keep an ear on how they are doing inside.
8) Try playing some music or TV while the fireworks are going off, or run a fan or air conditioner as white noise.
9) The loud booms of fireworks can scare animals. If you are having company, please be sure the doors, gates, and windows are all closed so your pet does not dash out. Be sure they have collars and tags on if they are walking about the house, just in case they do slip out.
10) And if you are having a party or serving up food, be sure your pets are kept away from hot grills, candles, alcohol, sweets, onions, chocolate, etc.
Whatever it is you and yours are doing this Fourth of July weekend, may it be safe and fun for you and your pets.