Managing Pet Anxiety During Fourth of July Fireworks and Other Festivities

July 3, 2024


While the Fourth of July may be a fun time for gatherings of family and friends, many of our pets find the holiday scary or anxiety-inducing due to fireworks and other loud, celebratory sounds. During the days leading up to the fourth, lots of pet parents worry about how their pets will handle the loud noises. However, with a little planning thanks to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), you can ensure that your pets stay safe, happy and healthy during summer festivities. 

If your pet has a fear of or an aversion to loud noises:

  • Something as simple as turning on some soft music and moving your pet into an interior room with no windows can be helpful. Give them a space where they feel comfortable and calm that’s inside and away from all of the excitement.
    • You can also consider giving your pet an enrichment activity, like a Kong or a chew, to keep them busy inside. 
  • An anxiety vest may work in some cases—if you don’t have one, try a snugly fitting t-shirt.
  • If you and your veterinarian do decide that anti-anxiety medication is your pet’s best bet, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost, give a practice dose of the medication before the big night to see how your pet responds to the medication. Second, never share the medication with another animal or give more than the recommended amount, and always keep a close eye on your pet.
  • While noise phobias are not as common in cats, they can and do happen. Fortunately, cats tend to hide when frightened. Checking in on your cats, having some quiet music on and keeping them indoors during the height of the fireworks is always a good idea.

Other safety concerns to consider:

  • Some pets will eat anything, regardless of how it tastes—including fireworks! Never underestimate your pet’s level of curiosity and keep them far away from any fireworks. Keep any fireworks securely locked away until you’re ready to light them, then be sure to keep pets out of the area as you set off your fireworks.
  • Fireworks contain several types of chemicals and heavy metals. If you set off fireworks at home, make sure you thoroughly clean up the area, gathering any trash or remaining materials, before letting your dog have access again.
  • Food and beverages can always be a concern for curious pets at any social gathering. See APCC’s graphic below for extra pet safety tips!

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.