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Tips on Keeping Pets Calm for the Fourth of July!

Tips on Keeping Pets Calm for the Fourth of July!

Fireworks, barbecues, outdoor gatherings—not only are they the epitome of summer, but they mark the Fourth of July!  However, while it is a day of celebration for us, the same can’t be said for our beloved pets.  It can be a great source of stress for them.  Loud noises and unfamiliar activities can be overstimulating and unsettle even the calmest of companion animals—and as pet owners, it’s our job to ensure their safety and comfort during this time!

Keep reading as we explore tips and strategies to help keep your pet calm, collected, and comfortable during Independence Day celebrations.  From keeping them safe indoors to using calming techniques, we'll cover everything you need to know to make this holiday a peaceful experience for you and your furry friend!


Create a Safe Space

Keep your pet indoors to protect them from the sights and sounds of the festivities!  Find a quiet, comfortable area in your home and designate it as a safe space for your furry friend to retreat during the fireworks.  This space should be away from windows and external noises as much as possible, and if there is a window, ensure that it remains closed with the curtains drawn to muffle the noise from the fireworks and block out the colorful flashes of light.  Some examples may include the basement, a closet, a laundry room, or a spare guest room. Choose a corner within the room and fill the area with familiar things like their bed, blankets, pillows, favorite toys, and other comforting items to create a cozy space for them to feel relaxed and protected.  You can even consider using a crate if your pet finds it calming!  Make sure this safe space is easily accessible so they can go whenever they feel stressed, overwhelmed, scared, or want some alone time.  Having a consistent and secure spot can significantly reduce anxiety and give them a sense of safety amidst the chaos of the fireworks.  More so, keeping pets inside is the best way to prevent them from bolting and getting lost!


Pre-festivity Exercise: Wear Your Pet Out!

Start your Fourth of July by ensuring your pet receives plenty of exercise earlier in the day—this makes them more likely to relax and rest during the evening festivities!  Take your dog out for a long walk around the neighborhood or a lively game of fetch to burn off excess energy and promote relaxation.  For your feline friend, engage in fun and interactive play sessions with toys like play mice, laser pointers, or feather wands to stimulate their mind and help release pent-up energy.  Physical activity doesn't just tire them out.  It also boosts endorphin levels, enhancing their mood and overall well-being, including reducing stress or anxiety.  This approach sets a positive tone for the day and can help your pet remain calm as the celebrations approach!


Redirect Their Focus

Create a distraction!  Offering your pet their favorite interactive toys or treat-dispensing puzzles is a great way to divert their attention from the loud noises and colorful flashes outside.  These activities not only serve as a distraction but engage your pet's mind, providing them with entertainment that can help reduce their anxiety.  Focusing on these toys keeps your furry friend occupied, allowing them to relax more easily and feel less bothered by what's happening around them.


Play Calming Music or White Noise

Playing soft, soothing music or white noise can help mask the sound of fireworks and create a calming atmosphere for your pet.  According to the American Kennel Club and other studies, classical music is often recommended for its relaxing effects—however, any gentle, steady background noise can be beneficial.  You can also try turning up your television or turning on the fan.  The goal is to drown out the sudden, loud sounds of fireworks with more consistent, predictable noises—creating a more stable sound environment that leaves them less startled.


Use Anxiety Wraps or Calming Aids

Anxiety wraps, such as the ThunderShirt, are effective in soothing anxiety-ridden and nervous pets!  Similar to swaddling a baby, these wraps provide gentle, constant pressure to the torso that can help your pet feel more secure, causing a calming effect.  Ensure that it is a snug fit and not too tight.  You want your pet to get accustomed to wearing it before a stressful event so they can associate it with comfort and security rather than unease!

Additionally, consider using calming aid products to help reduce their anxiety, stress, or fear during fireworks.  These can include:

  • Natural Supplements such as melatonin or L-theanine, which can promote relaxation with minimal side effects.
  • Pheromone sprays or diffusers that release synthetic versions of calming pheromones, mimicking those naturally produced by pets, which can help them feel safe, calm, and prevent unwanted behaviors.
  • Calming treats, such as bites and chews, specially formulated with ingredients known to promote relaxation like CBD oil or herbal remedies such as valerian root and chamomile. 
  • Pet-safe essential oils, like lavender or cedarwood oil, which can be diffused into the air; ensure proper dilution to avoid skin irritation for your canine or feline companion!
  • Calming collars infused with pheromones or special scents designed to provide anxiety relief and help your furry friend relax.

Check out some of our products here!


Tag Your Pet

Fireworks can cause pets to become agitated, leading to panic and escape attempts.  If your furry friend becomes frightened and manages to bolt from your humble abode, ensuring they have proper identification is crucial for reuniting with them quickly.  Make sure they wear a collar with tags that have correct and up-to-date contact information, including your phone number.  For an extra layer of security, consider microchipping them and registering your information with a reputable and trustworthy pet recovery service.  Always remember to update it in the event of any changes!  Naturally, it’s best to try and avoid situations like this, so to keep peace of mind, ensure all windows, doors, gates, or any other possible escape routes are securely closed, leaving no gaps.


Stay Calm!

Pets can feed off of and be highly sensitive to their owners’ emotions.  Therefore, it’s essential to remain calm and composed as the fireworks illuminate the night sky!  Your furry friend can pick up on your anxiety, which in turn can heighten their stress levels.  By staying relaxed, you can help them feel more reassured and at ease.  Try not to make a big fuss or go overboard with the coddling, as this can reinforce their fearful behavior.  Instead, offer them gentle reassurance!  If they come to you for comfort,  speak in a soothing voice and use calming words.  Offer them gentle petting—your presence can help them feel secure!

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