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Firework Safety for Dogs

Young yellow lab puppy on red blanket next to harness. There are pendant U.S. flags in the background on a white fence.

This Independence Day, many of us will celebrate the date with fireworks. However, our dogs (and other animals) may not appreciate this form of celebration. This Fourth of July, help keep your dog and others safe with these tips.

  1. Keep your dog inside. Dogs are sensitive to loud noises and smells, and the bursts that come from fireworks can be upsetting and disorienting to them. Let them stay home with the TV or radio playing to cover the noise, or pet them in a quiet place if one is available. Keep the blinds or curtains closed to avoid the visual stimulation.
  2. Keep your dog distracted. Toys and treats can help take your dog’s mind off what’s happening outside. If you’re at home, get out your dog’s favorite toy and let him or her focus on that. If you’re going to be out celebrating the holiday, prepare a frozen KONG or other treat for your dog to enjoy.
  3. Talk to your vet. If your dog is severely upset by noises like fireworks, your vet may be able to suggest a medication or technique that can help with the worst of your dog’s fears.
  4. Practice safety. If you’re planning to set of smaller fireworks near where you live, make sure all debris is picked up and your pets are safely contained away from the fireworks. They may try to eat or sniff the fireworks and could easily hurt themselves.
  5. Make sure your dog’s ID is up to date. Scared pets may run away, and the last thing you want is for your dog to be lost with no sure way of being reunited. Check that your dog’s collar and tag are on. If your dog isn’t microchipped, consider talking to your vet about that process.

While this time of year offers fun opportunities for we humans to celebrate, our pets may be having a very different experience. Not all dogs are sensitive to fireworks, but those who are will have a tough time at best and may hurt themselves or run away at worst. A little preparation can go a long way to making sure that our canine family members have a peaceful holiday experience.


Helaine and her current Leader Dog, Zara. They are sitting on a bench and Helaine has her left arm around Zara’s shoulders. Helaine is wearing black slacks, a purple long-sleeve shirt and a brightly patterned yellow, tan and red scarf; she has a large smile on her face. Zara is a yellow golden retriever/Labrador retriever cross. She has dark eyes and a dark nose. She is leaning into Helaine and is wearing a brown leather Leader Dog harness.

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