Virginia Simpson and Chance

Happy July 4th!
How to take the fire out of your dog’s July 4th anxiety

by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

It’s summertime! Freshly mown lawns, lazy days poolside, ice cream and of course fireworks! I love fireworks! I love lying there on our special fireworks watching blanket with family and friends, waiting in anticipation for the big show; the exhilaration of the first firework shooting out to the body thumping grand finale! And while our family builds a whole day of food, pool, family and friends around the July 4th celebration, we also take some time to make sure our dogs are as comfortable and safe as possible during the fireworks show.

While our pups love to hang out with family and friends, most of our guys are none too happy when they hear the various fireworks set off before, during and after the big fireworks days (July 4th and Memorial Day), and there are a few precautions we take to ease any discomfort our pets may be feeling during a fireworks riddled weekend. We actually have a major fireworks show about 200 yards from our back yard every year put on by the city, and because fireworks are an extremely loud and uncommon sound, they can cause severe stress in some dogs and cats. Many animals become so scared they just start running if they are not safe and secure in their home and are found miles from away from their homes, if they are found at all.

To help ease the stress for your dogs if they are particularly anxious when it comes to the sound of fireworks or even if they are only mildly affected, here are some suggestions that can help ease their discomfort. Try putting your dogs in a room that lies towards the center of the house or down in a basement. Think cool and quiet! Make sure the windows are closed and the air conditioning is on. If you have a plastic crate and your dog is comfortable staying in it, use that crate to create a den for your pup. Dogs love to hide in a den (under the bed for example) when they are frightened of something and the crate gives them a space to feel safe and secure.

Then bring in a radio to play classical music. Have you heard the saying that “music has charms to soothe the savage beast”? (It’s was actually written by William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697 and it was breast instead of beast, but beast works best here!) And it really works! Try it sometime when your pup is bouncing off the walls and you haven’t had time to exercise him. Crank on a little fine dining classical music, sit down and watch the magic! Play it just loud enough to muffle the sounds of fireworks a bit, but not too loud to be annoying.

Now what do you do if you find a dog that has become displaced which quite of few them do every year? Check out these tips at or visit our Lost and Found Resources page.

Wishing everyone and every doggy a Happy and safe Fourth of July!!
Virginia Simpson
Owner of Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC