Super Smiley’s Top 10 on Pets and Fireworks

Super Smiley, blog dog here with 10 fireworks 4th of July tips for pets!

First, know that we dogs love to go with our people, but facts are that our hearing is more sensitive than yours, and we can get over stimulated and frightened by unusual and especially loud things that we don’t understand. War dogs and police dogs have been trained to “understand” the gunpowder smells and the loud sounds, but we don’t have that background.

So, keep us happy and relaxed at home and enthusiastic about going with you in the future by taking care of us during fireworks!

  1. First give us a little positive conditioning. If you can, play some fireworks sounds for us during the week before the fireworks so we can get used to them. Play the sounds at a soft to normal volume. And, during the sound training, play with us using our favorite game and engaging us with your best happy, relaxed emotional state. Do this training in the room we will be in during the fireworks.
  2. The 4th of July and New Year’s Eve are the top two times a year when most pets escape. So just in case, make sure our name tags and microchips are up to date.
  3. Soundproof the room we will be in during the fireworks as well as possible. Heavy curtains and a white noise air purifier or sound machine on low volume will help.
  4. The day of the fireworks, if you can, take us for a great long walk before they start so we’ll be tired and sleepy when they begin.
  5. During the fireworks, leave us at home in a quiet, secure part of your house.
  6. Confine us to the one room you soundproofed, where we did our training and where we are comfortable, like our bedroom. This way we won’t become more agitated running from room to room, window to window trying to figure out what’s going on. Some dogs become so panicked they actually jump through the glass out of the window trying to “escape the sounds.”
  7. Leave on some gentle music or a television show with normal volume dialogue. Not the fireworks displays!
  8. If your pets are comfortable in their crate, put them in there during the fireworks where they will feel like they are in their safe little “condo.” If they respond well to the Thundershirt or a SENTRY GOOD Behavior product like the Calming Collar, use that as well.
  9. Never leave us outside during fireworks, even if you think we are behind an escape proof fence. If we become panicked, we can dig, climb, and jump our way out of things we would normally never do.
  10. Never use fireworks around us! The surprise noise might traumatize us and make us fearful of other loud sounds and stimulation. And, many contain poisonous substances that can be harmful to us if we get a hold of them. Also, if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, we could get burned or severely injured.

Great job Super Smiley! Megan here now, and since Super Smiley was so thorough, I’ll add a few more 4th of July safety tips beyond fireworks.

  1. Keep your pets on their normal diets, meaning don’t give them a “special” holiday meal. This change could give them severe indigestion, diarrhea or pancreatitis. And if they’ll be around lots of cooking and party foods, remember coffee, grapes and raisins, chocolate, onions and avocado can be potentially toxic to dogs and cats.
  2. Only use sunscreen and insect repellant specifically formulated for pets. Otherwise, they may contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets and could lead to permanent damage or death.
  3. Keep alcoholic drinks out of your pet’s reach. For pets, ingesting alcohol can cause extreme illness, coma and possibly death.
  4. Keep matches and lighter fluid away from pets.
  5. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil repellants out of pets’ reach. If ingested, these could be poisonous and result in central nervous system depression, and even if only inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.

I know this all sounds like a lot of “don’ts” and “nevers” but it’s all designed to keep you and your dog together and happy for a long time, so you all can do more dog friendly activities together…and skip the fireworks.

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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