Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrating the Fourth of July Safely: Are Your Pets Ready?

Please remember that this weekend there will be many Fourth of July activities going on across the country and we should be considerate of our pets and how the sights and sounds of fireworks can affect them. While our Huskies seem not to mind the fireworks, our late Chelsey had a terrifying fear of them. If your canine companion is fearful, here are a few tips we have updated from last year's post to help ease pets' anxieties during this loudly festive holiday:

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.

PS - Don't forget to stop back here on Monday, July 4th, to check out the "Patriotic Pets on Parade" slideshow of all the pawsome photos submitted from across the country for the photo contest! And, of course, the contest winners will be announced! Even though the contest is over, if you have a patriotic photo, feel free to Email it (Patriotic Pet Parade in subject line) or post to our Facebook page before 8PM EST this evening, and we will happily include it (and your website if you state so) in our "Patriotic Pets on Parade Slideshow!"

Its another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume! Many thanks to our hosts!



  1. Great tips! Our first rottie, Max did not like fire works one bit! He would stay in our bedroom with the a/c on "high and noisey." He was quite happy. Another thing we try to do with all of our dogs is take everyone for a long walk the day of, just to tire them out and make it easier to relax! Have a happy fourth, Sibes!!

    -Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

  2. Our woofies don't like the boomers at all. Mom puts them in their crate so they can snuggle together and calm each other.

    The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

  3. Great tips! It can definitely be a tough holiday for our 4-legged friends. I hope you and your pack have a safe and happy holiday!

  4. Wow, what a great reminder for everypeep about safety for us. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I can't wait to see all of the patriotic entries and the big winner! Thanks for hosting this cool event!
    Grr and a Patriotic Woof,
    Sarge, American

  5. You always have the best PSAs. We are all off in Honorooroo for the big luau, and we hope that everyone has a great holiday weekend. And you know exactly what we all think of that gorgeous white sibe - just beautiful.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  6. Those are some good tips. We're curious to see how Finn reacts to the fireworks!

  7. Woof! Woof! Happy BLOG HOP 4th Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    FYI: We read your FB comment. That's great (about the embedded???) so YES you have our permission. That's wonderful. We are also posting a 4th Aloha post ... so hope to hear from you again. Golden Thanks n Woofs, Sugar

  8. Can't wait to see the parade on Monday!

    Your pal, Pip

  9. Important tips! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Woofs & hugs,

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  10. I agree with you there! We have a party every year on the third, because that's when our village fireworks are, and I've learned that the best thing is to just keep the dogs in our finished basement. It's coolest down there, we can put a gate up so they can't get upstairs while people are in and out of the house, and it's very insulated, so when the fireworks start, it's very muffled for them downstairs. They watch Grease and hang out and for the most part seem none the worse for the wear.

  11. Wonderful tips for the weekend and the 4th!!! Have a great holiday!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  12. Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing such important information. I always get upset when I see dogs at fireworks displays and some are obviously in distress. Education is where it's at so thanks for doing your part! And hopefully more people will learn to keep pets away from fireworks. :->

    Have a wonderful and fun 4th of July, and we will be back to see all the Patriotic Pets!

    Suka and K