Why Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 2:15pm
Scared dog hiding under a blanket

Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a weekend for block parties, barbeques, belly-flops in the pool and parades—all best when enjoyed with friends and family, and even better when you have the day off to celebrate with your pets! Have fun, but remember that certain traditional Independence Day activities might not be so fun, or so healthy, for the four-legged members of your household: yes, we’re talking about fireworks.

Fireworks are loud, and the crowds that go to see them can be scary, too. Animal shelters nationwide are flooded with runaway pets on the Fourth; studies show that nearly one in five lost pets went missing because they were fleeing the sound of fireworks or other loud noises. Losing a pet is not only heartbreaking, it’s also very dangerous for the animal, especially if he or she ends up roaming busy streets.

The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they don’t go missing in the first place: Please resist the urge to take your pets to go see fireworks. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Double check leashes and collars and make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date. Be mindful when opening outside doors. And if the unthinkable does happen, the ASPCA’s new app is here to help: Utilizing the latest field research, this free tool provides users with an individual search plan based on their pet’s behavior and individual circumstances so they can search quickly and effectively to recover their lost pet.  

Please read the rest of our advice for a safe and festive Fourth!

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Hanna Hartman

I have five cats and one Collie-Chow mix, just rescued last October.
Very mild mannered and sweet but the fire works drove him nearly
insane. Someone in our neighborhood found it necessary to shoot off
high volume fire works until about 2:30 AM for several days in a row, totally unneccessary and very difficult to sleep with!


Meghan, I agree word for word with your comments. I could have written it except I have a dog that gets a calming medication from the vet for this time of year.

MJ Combs

Classical music puts them to sleep. Hell I guess it puts
just about everyone asleep.


Our neighbor's big retriever mix was so hysterical he kept throwing his body at our front door just to let him in (we had 3 kitties at the time, who were all under our bed) He didn't even know us. I went out on the covered porch with him with a blanket and wrapped him and held him until the local fireworks were over. Once the noise stopped, he gathered his dignity and we walked back to his house together. He cried the entire time the fireworks were happening, which made me cry, too. Never, never leave your buddy outside alone during fireworks.


We have 3 cats, 2 females and one older male. He gets the most nervous when thunder or fireworks go off. We make sure that he has complete access to the storage side of our basement. He likes to get in there among boxes and other items like he's hiding. I just make sure he has a blanket in there to lay on because the floor is very cold.


I always make sure I have tranquilizers from the vet. I live in an area where fireworks are against the law but it doesn't stop people from setting them off. So about an hour before dark, I give the dogs a dose of doggie tranquilizers and they then can get through all the noise.

S. O. Rooney

Keep 'em inside. And keep 'em inside. If you can, stay with them. Try a homeopathic calming aid such as Rescue Remedy for pets (no alcohol).


If your dog is scared of storms or fire works, use a dryer sheet and rubber them with it, it seems to relax them.. Also you can find a safe dark place so they can not hear the noise. My little one goes into the shower and waits out the storms..

Malibu Kim

I hope you'll find a safe - toxic chemical-free remedy instead of dryer sheets. Have you read the ingredients???


We live on a lake and sooo many people light fireworks off over the lake not to mention the big show put on in our town. We have 3 dogs and we make sure they are in the house and I put on easy music but turn it up a little to drown out the noise (when we are gone)...I have found other dogs behind our refriderator on our boat's so sad. Keep your animals inside!!!