Most of us enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July, but our dogs, not so much. Learn how to keep your pup safe on the holiday and protected from noise from fireworks.

Here comes the Fourth. So fun for you, not so fun for your dog. Just ask the folks at the animal shelters — it’s the busiest day of the year. The fireworks start and dogs declare their independence from yards and leashes all over town. And who can blame them? Since dogs’ hearing is about ten times more sensitive than ours, the booms and cracks of fireworks set them on edge and on the loose.

To help your pup handle the noise of the fourth and stay safely at home, plan ahead with these dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t take your dog to the firework show. He’ll be safe and most comfortable at home. Period.
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air and you don’t want to mix that with the sounds of fireworks and other commotion.
  • Don’t leave your dog outside unattended, even in an enclosed yard. In their fear, pets that normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost.
  • Do keep your dog indoors in the quietest area of your home. Keep your dog away from open windows and with curtains closed to reduce noise and bright lights. Leave a TV or radio on at normal volume to drown out loud sounds and calm your pooch. Dogs can become destructive little devils when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful if chewed.
  • Do consider hiring a pet sitter. This person can help calm your dog during the fireworks.
  • Do make sure your dog wears an ID tag. This is the first step to reuniting you with a lost dog.

We wish you and your dogs a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Thank you to Jill for the photo.

Originally published July 2010; reviewed and updated July 2017.