On the 4th of July, my dog Magic spent all his energy trying to bark louder than the explosive booming and banging his sensitive hearing was forced to endure all night. Every year, he worked himself up into such a frenzy about what he surely believed to be the end of the world that he spent all of the 5th of July passed out in bed.
To make Independence Day less stressful, my family developed a yearly routine to help keep Magic safe. Once the sun began to go down, we moved his bed, food, and toys to Mom’s bedroom where he would be secure during the firework show that took place just down the street. Because he had a tendency to take off running whenever he felt panicked, we checked to make sure his identification tags and microchip were up to date.
We resisted the urge to give him table scraps during parties and barbecues because giving him any unusual food would have been asking for a few days of dreaded diarrhea clean-up. Or even worse, he could have accidentally been fed something toxic to dogs. We also watched him carefully to make sure he didn’t get into anything dangerous such as lighter fluid or insect repellent. No matter how badly he wanted to spend all day outside with us, we regularly took him inside to cool off for a while and keep him from overheating.
Most importantly, we never forced Magic to be around crowds or fireworks. Every year at firework shows, I notice some families laying on blankets and watching the fireworks with their dog— but the risk of Magic becoming upset by the noise and crowd (plus the risk of him running away from us or into the heavy traffic) was never worth bringing him along.
Magic was as safe and peaceful as possible while he was away from the bright lights and explosives. The 4th of July never stopped being his most dreaded holiday, but these simple precautions kept him safe, secure, and out of trouble until the day was over.
Many pets become frightened and stressed when they hear fireworks. Prepare a secure area in your home for them to stay during a fireworks show so they are unable to run away in panic. For their peace of mind and safety, do not bring them around fireworks or crowds if they become nervous. Make sure they do not remain outside for long periods of time, as pets can quickly become overheated. Do not give them over the counter human medications in an attempt to calm them down (many human medications can be dangerous for dogs). Always consult a veterinarian before giving any medications.