Our boxes of fun can be their nightmare!

Though July 4th is a fun-packed celebration for humans, it can also be a stressful time for your four-legged family! In addition to the pet anxiety that can stem from hosting friends and family – or venturing out to celebrate away from home — fireworks can be a major source of fear and stress for your dog or cat.

To ensure your Independence Day is fun for your furry friends as well, we’ve created this in-depth guide for keeping your pets calm during 4th of July celebrations

1. Bring pets inside

Pets left outside during fireworks can become fearful and look for a safe place to hide, resulting in an escaped dog or cat. According to PetAmberAlert, it’s during this time that Animal Control Officers report a 30 to 60% nationwide increase in lost pets. To avoid a lost pet, be sure to bring your companion animals inside and provide a quiet, comfortable place away from the noise and commotion of fireworks.

Additionally, make sure your pets are microchipped and their chips are registered in a database with your current contact information.

2. Go for a morning walk

To keep your dog calm during 4th of July celebrations, go for a longer walk or let them out for an extended play session before you, or your neighbors, begin setting off fireworks.

3. Close blinds and curtains

Close the blinds and curtains in your house to help muffle the sounds of fireworks outside. Additionally, try to limit foot traffic in this area. People coming and going can disturb your pet and expose your dog or cat to increased firework noise.

4. Consider CBD oil

Though there’s no definitive scientific data on CBD oil for pets, many veterinarians and pet experts support and sell CBD oil to help reduce anxiety (as well as other ailments), and it can help calm your pet during fireworks celebrations. According to the American Kennel Club, there are many things to consider before giving your pet CBD oil.

When using CBD oil, start with incremental doses several days prior to the firework celebrations before giving them the full recommended dose for their size.

5. Put on a Thundershirt

Thundershirts by Thunderworks are vet recommended and proven to be over 80% effective in calming cats or dogs during fireworks, thunderstorms, travel, vet visits, separation anxiety, and more! They work by swaddling your pet with gentle, continuous pressure to help calm them. Thundershirts are available in different sizes for both dogs and cats.

6. Create a quiet space with calming music

Add soothing music to a quiet, secure space to help your pet feel safe and in control. Calming music, white noise, or relaxing pet videos on YouTube will distract your pet, mask the sound of fireworks, and help them feel comfortable in their safe space.

7. Create a hideaway space

Within your pet’s quiet, secure space, create a place for them to hide. For dogs, this could be their kennel with their favorite bed inside with blankets over the top. For your cat, this could be a space in your closet with a comforting blanket or cave bed.

8. Give them a massage

Gently massaging your pet has the same therapeutic effects as it does for humans! Massaging your pet’s shoulders and other muscles may help reduce excess stress during 4th of July celebrations. Not all pets will enjoy this, however, so if your pet’s body language is saying stop, listen.

Consult your veterinarian about what’s best for your pet. In some cases, additional measures like Rx medication should be taken to keep your pet calm during 4th of July.  Regardless of how you prepare, the unexpected can still happen. That’s where Companion Protect® can help. Learn more about how we help pet parents just like you afford the care their pets need when they need it most.

*To learn how fireworks negatively impact wildlife, click here.

Shayne Storey with her friend, Helga, the pig!SHAYNE STOREY
Marketing Specialist

Shayne has a few years experience in digital marketing, content creation and animal care, with her previous role as New Media Intern at The Humane League. In her free-time she loves to cycle (with her dog on her back) and practice yoga. A social cause she cares about is climate change, the welfare of factory farmed animals, and racial equality. Her favorite food is vegan mac & cheese.

How to calm a dog during fireworks