How to Keep Your Pets Safe Over the 4th of July Weekend

Article at a Glance

  • The Fourth of July can be a very dangerous weekend for dogs because of the fireworks displays, crowds, new environments, heat, and more
  • Luckily, there are many precautions you can take to keep your pet safe

Table of Contents 

  • Introduction
  • Why do pets go missing on the Fourth of July?
  • How to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July weekend
  • Prepare for the weekend ahead of time
  • Know that dogs and fireworks don’t mix
  • Be mindful with food and beverages
  • Know what to keep away from your dog
  • Watch out for signs of overheating
  • Conclusion 

The 4th of July is one of the best holidays of the year. You get to enjoy the summer weather, eat good food, and watch amazing fireworks displays. But, while the 4th of July can be a lot of fun for humans, it’s not always a fun holiday for our furry friends. In fact, more pets go missing on July 4th and 5th than any other day of the year. Often, the noise associated with Fourth of July celebrations can cause pets to get skittish and run away. How do you keep your pet safe this holiday weekend?

Read our post to find out!

Why Do Pets Go Missing On the Fourth of July? 

What is it about the Fourth of July that makes pets go missing? As we mentioned, many dogs freak out at the sound of fireworks. However, that’s not the only reason pets go missing over the 4th. Many people make plans over 4th of July weekend that involve leaving town or going to another home. For dogs, being put in a new environment can be alarming, and this too can cause them to freak out and run away. 

Plus, Fourth of July weekend tends to be very social, so owners may not be keeping as close of an eye on their pets as they normally would. Besides the increased chances of going missing, a lot of dogs have a tough time over the fourth due to the swell in activities, people, new sights, and sounds. 

How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Fourth of July Weekend 

Luckily, there’s a lot that you can do to keep your pet safe this fourth of July weekend. This includes:

Prepare for the Weekend Ahead of Time 

Make sure your dog has up-to-date identification tags going into Fourth of July weekend. If your dog hasn’t already been microchipped, talk to your vet about this simple procedure, as it can ensure your pet will return home safely should they get lost. 

If your pet has already been microchipped but you don’t know their information, speak to your vet to get the details. It’s also a good idea to take a current photo of your dog, just in case. 

Also, make sure the environment where your dog will be spending most of their time in over the weekend is safe and secure. For example, if you’re having your neighbors pet sit your dog so you can head to the lake, make sure they have a secure yard for your dog to roam in. 

Know That Dogs and Fireworks Don’t Mix 

Whether you have a bulldog, great dane, Australian shepherd, or pekingnese, it’s important to remember that dogs and fireworks don’t mix. The noise and unpredictability of fireworks can lead your dog to perceive them as a threat, which can trigger their fight or flight response. Some dogs bark at the sound of fireworks, while others try to run and hide. Your dog may show other signs of anxiety at the sound of fireworks, such as panting, pacing, whining, and restlessness. 

The best thing you can do for your dog is to leave them at home during the fireworks display. For most dog owners, avoiding the sound of fireworks altogether is nearly impossible during the month of July, as shows are happening all the time, and some people buy their own for the yard. 

Throughout the month, make sure your dog has a safe place to retreat in the event they hear fireworks. We suggest setting up a special spot with a blanket and their favorite toy in a room without windows. Generally speaking, you should keep your dog indoors unless you plan to be right by their side or have them on a leash over the Fourth of July, as a sudden firework noise can cause them to go berserk. 

Be Mindful With Food and Beverages 

One of the best things about the Fourth of July is all of the delicious food and drinks. However, remember that these delicious items are meant for people, not pets. If you’re having a barbecue, it can be tempting to slip something under the table to your pet. But, human food isn’t good for your pet, and in some cases, it can make them very sick. Possible hazardous foods include:

  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Raisins
  • Yeast dough

Also, keep in mind that alcohol is very dangerous for dogs. If your dog were to drink alcohol, it could become dangerously intoxicated, and in severe cases, it could even go into a coma or die from respiratory failure. You probably already know that feeding your dog table scraps or alcohol is a bad idea, but, if you’re going to be around other people over the Fourth of July weekend, gently remind everyone the rules about not feeding your dog. The best meal plan for your dog over Fourth of July weekend is the one they normally eat. 

There tends to be a lot going on at Fourth of July barbecues, so if you plan to mingle and play games, it may be best to leave your pet at home. 

Know What to Keep Away From Your Dog 

It’s not just human food and fireworks that you need to keep your dog away from Fourth of July weekend. You also need to make sure your dog doesn’t come in contact with the following:

  • Sunscreen or bug spray: Unlike humans, dogs have no need for sunscreen or bug spray. In fact, ingestion of these products can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Make sure to keep these products in a safe space out of reach of pets, and remind children not to use these products on the dogs. 

  • Glow sticks: Glow sticks are a fun toy for children over the Fourth of July. But, if your dog finds one, it may try to chew it up and swall the plastic. Not only is this a major choking hazard, but the glow material is highly toxic. Keep glow sticks out of reach from your pets. Or better yet, avoid using them altogether. 
  • Lighter fluid and matches: Certain matches contain chlorates, which can cause breathing difficulties and even kidney issues in dogs. Lighter fluid can irritate the skin and lead to gastrointestinal issues, so keep these items away from your pet. 
  • Tiki torches/insect coils/citronella candles: If you live in an area with a lot of mosquitos, you’re probably busting out all sorts of products to keep them at bay over July 4th weekend. However, you also need to remember to keep these products at bay from your dog, as they can all cause irritation, and in some cases, central nervous system depression. 

Watch Out for Signs of Overheating 

Also, let’s not forget that July is one of the hottest times of the year. If you’re caught up in the day’s festivities, it can become all too easy to miss the signs of overheating in your dog. 

Here are the signs of overheating that you should watch out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dry gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Erratic behavior
  • Weakness

If you believe your dog might be overheated, take their temperature. A dog’s normal resting temperature is 101.5 degrees Farenheit. If your dog heats up to 103 or above, call your vet and head to the emergency clinic immediately. While on the way to the vet, you can reduce their temperature by placing cool, wet towels on them. You can also give your pooch cool drinking water to help it cool down. But, never force your dog to drink water, as this can cause them to suck the water directly into their lungs. 

You can try wetting their tongue with water instead. And, don’t offer ice to a dog experiencing heatstroke, as this can cause them to cool down too fast and lead to shock. 

Are You Ready for the Fourth of July Weekend With Your Dog? 

As you can see, there’s a lot to keep track of during the Fourth of July weekend with your dog. If you feel like it’s all too much, consider having a chill holiday at home with your pets. Or, hire a pet sitter so you can enjoy the festivities without having to worry. 


To help your pet stay calm over the Fourth of July, you can also check out our CBD products.
Written by Mead Johnston

Mead is an experienced dog trainer, writer, and lover of animals. She has always been surrounded by animals and had a passion for learning more about them every day. This passion grew tremendously when Mead brought home a Great Pyrenees x Golden Retriever named Mac in 2018. Mead has continued to learn more about dogs whenever possible and wherever possible, while also helping so many wonderful clients. Her goal is help her clients and their dogs become confident in their daily lives. As a dog trainer, she often helps clients who are starting off with a puppy or they might have an older dog that is presenting challenging behaviours. Mead believes in the all-natural uses of Pet CBD to help our furry loved ones live longer, happier and healthier lives.

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