NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — As the Fourth of July approaches, many Americans get excited to shoot off fireworks in celebration of freedom, but pets don’t always enjoy the booms that come with the explosions.

The holiday can sometimes be traumatic for four-legged family members as anxious dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers, or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears.

Best Friends Animal Society issued a press release Monday, June 27 giving pet owners some tips on keeping their pets safe during the holiday festivities:

  • Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely, making sure that any potentially harmful food or alcohol is kept out of reach. 
  • Secure pets in a room, close the windows, draw the curtains, surround them with comforting toys, and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.  
  • Always keep pets away from lit fireworks (including in your own backyard). Some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk of being burned or blinded in the process.  
  • Fireworks also contain substances that are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach. 
  • Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags, and make sure your current contact info is recorded with the vet clinic or shelter that implanted the microchip.  
  • Have a plan in place in case your pet does go missing that includes calling and visiting the local shelter and posting information about your missing pet on platforms such as Nextdoor and Facebook. 

“The last thing you want is an emergency over a holiday when many veterinary clinics and shelters are closed or open only for limited hours,” said Dr. Erin Katribe, veterinarian, and medical director of Best Friends Animal Society. “If you know your pets get severely anxious, discuss pharmaceutical options with your veterinarian in advance. Several medications to treat anxiety in pets are available.”

Best Friends says it’s important to do this based on your pet’s weight, age, and health issues, “so make sure to get the proper prescription and dosage from your veterinarian.” The society says milder anxiety may be helped with supplements, such as those containing tryptophan, or a compression-style garment, such as a Thundershirt, which swaddles your pet and comforts them.

“If medical care is warranted, start by contacting your veterinarian’s office to see if they can take your pet for an emergency exam. If not, you may need to go to a 24/7 emergency facility, which your vet can refer you to,” Katribe said. “I recommend that all pet owners find out the contact information of their local emergency clinic ahead of time so that it’s quickly within reach in those unexpected moments.”

For more information on pet firework safety, visit