Fireworks & Furry Friends: 4th of July Checklist for Dog Owners

July 1st, 2024

It seems only appropriate that as we approach National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th, we are reminded of summer festivities that can be hazardous to our dogs. We spend more time outside with our furry friends around campfires or beach bonfires, toasting s’mores, or gathering for exciting celebrations like the 4th of July. While many of us may not necessarily take our dogs to watch a firework show, this time of year brings sights and sounds into our neighborhoods that can’t necessarily be avoided. Plus, fireworks can pose a burn risk to curious or protective dogs that might chase after a firework or get too close to a sparkler.

So, it’s always a good idea to prepare and be aware of how fireworks can affect your dog’s safety and even their emotional state. Even for humans, the loud, unpredictable pops and the exciting energy in the air can be alarming and overwhelming. So, imagine how this night can be for your pet pal, it can be triggering, making this time of year anything but celebratory. 

Taking extra care to supervise your four-legged bestie and taking some steps beforehand to create a safe space can help kick-off a stress-free summer for both you and your dog!

Fourth of July Safety For Your Dog

While we gaze at the sky in awe of the beautiful lights, enjoying ourselves with friends, it can be an extremely frightening experience for your dog. We know to expect and can prepare ourselves for the booming sounds, but dogs don’t have that ability. Even though they might seek comfort by our side, their instincts kick in when they hear scary sounds and feel sudden vibrations, leading to a possible fight-or-flight reaction. 

Some dogs may even try to protect you by going after a firework which can cause painful burns and injuries. Also, Leftover firework debris can be hazardous if dogs mistake it for a snack and ingest it.

We’ve compiled a list of ideas to keep your patriotic pal safe from harm.  A little pre-planning can go a long way so you and your dog end the night on a sparkling note!



A Pre-Firework Checklist








  • Check that your yard is secure. All gates are closed and there are no holes in the fence, dog’s ca be savvy, little escape artists.
  • Current ID tags.  Double check that all your information is current in case they run away ensuring you’re reunited quickly!
  • Home Prep.  Close all windows, doors, and doggie doors.  Draw your drapes to keep out the bright lights and it can also help with the noise level.
  • Take a walk in the morning or early afternoon.  Fireworks start to randomly go off as it nears night.  Even if you put your dog on a leash hearing those sounds can make them dart and feel anxious.  It is also difficult for them to hear your commands when they are scared. Getting in a good long walk will tire them out and they may be less likely to be frightened later in the evening.
  • Create a calm place for your dog. Choose a windowless area, such as a large closet or bathroom, and set up a comfy hiding spot for your dog to escape the loud noises and bright lights of the fireworks. If your dog is used to a crate and feels safe there,that is a great option too. Fill this space with their favorite blankets, toys, or an item of unwashed clothing to help them feel more secure. Their favorite treat or bone can also be a great distraction.
  • Refill your dog’s water bowl. Anxious dogs often pant more and get thirsty.
  • Provide your dog with a meal ahead of time. When the fireworks start, your dog might be too stressed to eat or experience an upset stomach. 
  • Get in bathroom breaks before the fireworks begin. 
  • Inquire about medication. If your dog has been very scared of fireworks before then talk to your vet about possible medications or calming products that can help reduce your dog’s anxiety.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Keep Your Dog Indoors

Even if your furry bestie usually stays in the yard, their behavior might drastically change during the firework season. Even the most well-trained dogs can get scared, and their first reaction may be to run. If your dog is outside and hears fireworks, they may become alarmed and try to jump the fence in the backyard or figure out how to open the gate. Keeping them inside, in the cozy den you’ve made, will make them feel safe and secure. It’s also a great opportunity to play a little tug of war or catch to keep them distracted.

Turn On Background Noise

Play calming music or turn on the TV to help drown out the noise of the fireworks. There are also soothing white-noise playlists designed just for dogs! Try This One on Spotify.

Check for Dangerous Debris

Leftover fireworks can contain dangerous chemicals and sharp pieces that might injure your dog if consumed or stepped on. Curious dogs may mistake these as toys or food, resulting in choking dangers, poisoning, or internal damage.



And now for the grand finale…

Fireworks season and summer celebrations are a time when all dog parents need to be extra watchful to keep their dogs safe, calm, and anxiety-free. By taking proactive steps to ensure your dog’s well-being, you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your furry friend happy and content. 

Remember, a little party prep goes a long way in making these events enjoyable for everyone. Now that is something to celebrate!

It’s important year-round to keep our favorite furry friends feeling safe. Summertime brings some different challenges to be aware of when it comes to our dog’s well-being and care.  Here are some helpful reminders to keep your dog cool this summer. Summer Tips.