7 Ways to Keep Your Pooch Happy and Safe During the Holiday

Our Taffy is not a huge fan of the 4th of July holiday. Or New Year’s Eve, for that matter. Why?

Fireworks. Her HATES them. 

See this?


This is Taffy LAST 4th of July. Wedged between my feet and the kitchen cabinet. Terrified of all the loud noises. Hoping and praying I wasn’t planning on leaving her.

Did you know that more dogs run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year? Some run away during parties or festivals, while others bolt at the sound of fireworks.

To make this holiday as happy and safe as possible for YOUR pooch, here are 7 safe ways to celebrate the 4th of July with your dog!

Give him or her plenty of exercise the day of the fireworks

If your pooch is tired, he/she may be less distressed by the commotion.

Do NOT take your dog to a fireworks display!

Don’t assume he likes fireworks just because he doesn’t act afraid. Some dogs don’t bark or cry when upset—so watch for excessive yawning and panting that can also signify distress.

Consider having him spend the day inside or visiting a friend

If you are having a party complete with fireworks nearby, you may want to keep your dog in the house to be sure he/she won’t be scared and run off.  Or, if you have a friend who is having a more quiet night, explore having your dog stay there for a low stress holiday.

Provide your dog with a safe place to “hide”

If the fireworks cause your dog too much stress, make sure he/she has a safe place to go to find comfort. For some dogs this is a doggie bed in a corner. Others feel safer in a cage or kennel box. Wherever the “safe place” is, encourage your to go there if there are signs of distress.

Try a canine wrap

There are a couple of these on the market. The key to successful use is to start using the wrap BEFORE the fireworks or celebrations begin. Your dog needs to be in a calm state before the noise starts. You may also want to try out the wrap in advance, as some dogs respond positively on the first use, while others need 2-3 uses to realize benefits.

Take him/her for his “duty” walk before the revelry starts

Walk your dog or take him/her out to do his/her business at dusk. That way you may not have to take him/her out during the noisiest time of the night.

Distract your dog

If you are at home, keep the television or radio on. Or play his/her favorite indoor games. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to coddle your dog, which can actually reinforce the fearful behavior. Distraction is the best way to counter the fears.  Try to behave as if nothing is different. Dogs definitely pick up on our fears, so try to remain calm. Reward your dog for calm behavior with treats or play.


Taffy’s favorite treats are from BilJac! Check out how excited she gets when I offer them to her!

What do you do to keep YOUR pet safe during the 4th of July?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

16 thoughts on “7 Ways to Keep Your Pooch Happy and Safe During the Holiday

  1. Thank you for these tips. Our fur baby is so scared of fireworks and we try to keep him as calm as possible by giving him extra bedding in his dog bed and also some treats to keep him busy chewing.

  2. OMG, Taffy is too cute! She would absolutely rule me if she lived here. I would keep her happy by giving her every singe thing she ever wanted whenever she wanted it. LOL

  3. These are great tips for dog owners. My neighbor’s dog is afraid of fireworks. She will go and sit in a corner. They try to make her as comfortable as possible.

  4. I spent the weekend in the country with friends and about 6 dogs. Last nights the fireworks started at midnight and most of them did fine except the biggest dogs. His owner had something I think called a thunder jacket on him. No pups for me but I have seen how puppies and babies react to loud pops lol

  5. It was absolutely delish!! Thanks for a great idea that I’ll definitely use again – hopefully next time with the actual kale and bacon. 🙂 One question – is the nutrition info at the end meant for one serving or all four? The carb count seems high for a single serving, given that a whole large sweet potato has around 40 carbs. But if I’ve miscounted somewhere, please let me know. Thanks again!

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