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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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I make sure all 3 of my sweet pups are indoors. Two of them startle easily, so they immediately head for our laps, and then I'll call the 3rd one down for some extra cuddles too.


Yes ! I have four dogs, 2 poodles (10 pounds) 1 Yorkie (4 pounds) and 1 Maltese (four pounds) They all get scared when they hear the fire work, especially the smallest one, the Yorkie, I hold him immediately and pat him or I put him in a quilted closed space that we have to soften the noise of fireworks instead!

Joanne Ketchen

So cute

Meghan Prior

I always pray for lots of rain on the 4th of July. Our idiot neighbors let off firecrackers for hours and it freaks out our dog and also is very bad for all the wildlife. We put on a movie, keep our outdoor lights off so the wildlife feel they have a safe place, and give our dog some lavendar oil topically on his fur - a dab or two - and also give him valerian internally for calming. There are many natural calming supplements around now. We just wait for the stupidity to finish and stay close. We never go out now because it is too traumatizing for the dog and even for the cat.

Sharon Soby

Our 90 pound German Shepherd has become terrified of fireworks and thunder storms as she has aged. Around the 4th (and during thunderstorms) we noticed that she was "hiding" in one of our bathrooms in the center of the house, so we moved one of her beds there and now turn on the exhaust fan for her. The constant humming from the fan helps to drown out the sounds and makes her "safe place" feel even safer for her. She comes out whenever she's ready.

Debra Fidler

I have a flier that was given to me when I went to a county anniversary in Stafford,VA
It talks about the 4th festivities. In the lower part of the flier it says
NO alcholic beverages-No Sparklers, No Grills
Dogs must be on leashes, WTF are they that clueless??

Sponcered by
City of Fredericksburg
Stafford County

Lori Cotter

I've spent some time there, and the short answer is YES, they are that clueless!

Nikki Stark

very cute!


Lavender essential oils just a little on their ears and muzzle where they can smell it will calm them down. Also Young Living Essential Oils makes an oil blend called Peace and Calming that works wonders. I have used it on horses to settle them down. It really works. Use caution using oils on your feline friends as they are much more sensitive to the smells.


I have one cat that is terrified by all the noise. Her little paws and toe pads get all sweaty because she's so scared. A true scaredy cat... I make sure that she is indoors with me during all the excitement. She usually burrows under the covers for extra protection.