Fido and Fireworks – Five Tips for Surviving the Fourth


Worthington Organized Off-Leash Friends (W.O.O.F.) encourages all pet owners to take precautions for their animals over the Fourth of July holidays.

Fireworks can turn Fourth of July into a miserable night for dogs.

Unlike humans, dogs do not like fireworks. A dog’s hearing is 10 times more sensitive than a human’s, so fireworks can cause many dogs to experience great fear, anxiety and confusion during fireworks displays. 

It is not uncommon to hear of dogs that “spooked” and escaped from their homes or yards because of the loud noise created by fireworks. Every July animal shelters across the country see increases in lost pets that have run away during Independence Day festivities.

To help keep your four-legged friends safe and comfortable during fireworks, Adam Orebaugh, WOOF education director, offers these five tips:

  1. Keep your dog inside when fireworks are being set off. You should never tie your dog out, leave it outside or alone in a car for any reason during fireworks displays.
  1. Make sure your dog is wearing identification, generally in the form of a license, collar hang tag or micro-chip. If at all possible, avoid leaving your pet alone.
  1. Minimize the noise and flash of lights by shutting all doors, windows and blinds and drawing curtains.  Consider turning on a radio or TV as a distraction.
  1. Prepare a safe spot for your dog to hide in.  Use blankets and familiar toys to make the area comfortable.  If you dog finds a place to hide, do not try to coax it out.  Your dog has found a place if feels safe.  Keep an eye on it, but try not to disturb it.
  1. Avoid excessive cuddling and comforting.  The more attention you give to the situation, the more you will stress your pet.  Instead, remain calm and relaxed.  If your dog is pacing or whining excessively, try to re-direct its attention by playing a game or with a favorite toy.  A long walk earlier in the day will help tire your dog.