Helping Pets Stay Calm (and Safe) During Fireworks: A Guide for Pet Owners

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Fireworks can be a source of anxiety for many pets, much like thunderstorms. The loud noises and bright flashes can be overwhelming, causing stress and fear. As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to help our furry friends feel safe and secure during these noisy celebrations. Here’s how you can prepare your pets for fireworks:

Understanding Firework Anxiety in Pets

Pets can develop a fear of fireworks for various reasons. The loud noises, flashing lights, and sudden bursts of activity can trigger a fear response. For some pets, this fear can escalate into a phobia, leading to severe anxiety.

Common Signs of Firework Anxiety:

  • Panting
  • Hiding
  • Pacing
  • Chewing or destructive behavior
  • Trying to escape
  • Clinging to the owner
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Barking, meowing, or whining
  • Accidents in the house

Preparing Your Pet for Fireworks

1. Create a Safe Space

Before the fireworks start, set up a safe, comfortable space for your pet. This can be a quiet room with familiar items like their bed, toys, and a piece of your clothing. For dogs, a crate covered with a blanket can provide a den-like environment. Cats often prefer small, enclosed spaces, so access to an open closet or carrier might work well.

2. Provide White Noise

Drowning out the sound of fireworks with white noise can help. Turn on the TV, play some calming music, or use a white noise machine. The goal is to mask the sound of the fireworks as much as possible.

3. Use Calming Products

There are several products designed to help calm anxious pets. Thundershirts or anxiety wraps apply gentle pressure, which can have a calming effect. Additionally, products like pheromone diffusers (e.g., Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats) can create a sense of security.

4. Comfort Your Pet

It’s a common myth that comforting your pet during fireworks or thunderstorms reinforces their fear. In reality, providing calm and soothing reassurance can help them feel safer. Gently petting or holding your pet can be comforting, as long as you remain calm and positive.

During the Fireworks

1. Keep Your Pet Indoors

Make sure your pet is inside well before the fireworks start. Even pets that usually stay outdoors should be brought in to prevent them from jumping fences, running away, or getting injured. If you’re leaving home, make sure they have access to their quiet space – don’t leave them outside and don’t take them to fireworks shows.

2. Stay with Your Pet

If possible, stay with your pet during the fireworks. Your presence can be reassuring. Engage them in a calm activity like playing with their favorite toy or practicing some training cues.

If your pet must be outside for potty breaks, be with them at all times. Jumping fences, breaking tie outs, and running through invisible fences are all common during high stress times for pets.

3. Close Windows and Curtains

Minimize the visual and auditory impact of the fireworks by closing windows, doors, and curtains. This can help reduce the noise and block out the flashes of light.

Veterinary Support

If your pet has historically had severe reactions to thunderstorms or fireworks and you are concerned, make a veterinary appointment as early as possible—ideally weeks before scheduled firework dates—to discuss medication. If your pet has taken medication in the past and needs a refill, be sure to arrange for this as soon as possible. Early preparation can help ensure your pet has the support they need to stay calm.

After the Fireworks

1. Check for Signs of Stress

After the fireworks have ended, give them time to calm down and return to their normal routine. They may act “weird” for a little while.

2. Reward Calm Behavior

Praise and reward your pet for calm behavior during and after the fireworks. This positive reinforcement can help them associate fireworks with something positive.

The Importance of Pet Identification

The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, but it’s also when the highest number of pets go missing due to the noise and commotion of fireworks. According to the American Humane Association, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters, with many pets found wandering without any identification.

Why Pet IDs Are Essential:

Your pet’s collar with an ID tag is like their wallet. It helps people identify them and return them home safely. Without identification, pets can end up in shelters or worse.

Tips for Pet Identification:

  • Collars and Tags: Ensure your pet wears a collar with an ID tag at all times. The tag should include your pet’s name, your name, and a current phone number. If you are unable to purchase an ID tag in time, writing your phone number on their collar or on a piece of duct tape on their collar is a temporary solution in a pinch. An obvious and readable phone number is your way to the fastest possible reunification.
  • Microchipping: This is a reliable way to ensure your pet can be identified if they lose their collar. Make sure your contact information is up to date in the microchip registry. You STILL want your pet to have an ID, as only shelters and veterinary clinics generally have the ability to scan for microchips.
  • Up-to-Date Information: Regularly check and update your pet’s ID information, especially before a big event like the Fourth of July. Be sure your phone number and address are correct.


Fireworks can be a challenging time for pets, but with the right preparation and support, you can help your furry friends feel more secure and less stressed. By creating a safe environment, using calming techniques, and ensuring they have proper identification, you can make a significant difference in their well-being during fireworks displays. If you need further assistance or advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to Blue Skies Pet Care. We’re here to help you and your pets navigate through these noisy times with ease.

Share Your Tips and Experiences!
Have you found other effective ways to keep your pet calm during fireworks? Share your tips and experiences on our Facebook page! Let’s support each other and our pets through this together!

For more information on the importance of pet IDs, check out our previous post Your Pet’s Back Pocket is His Ticket Home.

Sharing is Caring - Share to Support Us and Fellow Pet Lovers!

Ashley Klein

Owner & Pet Care Provider Blue Skies Pet Care, LLC