• Miranda Carney

5 Essential Steps to Prepare your Pets for Fireworks

While July 4th is a much-anticipated summer holiday for humans, it can be scary and traumatic for pets. Sadly, thousands of dogs will go missing this fireworks season. In fact, shelters and animal control centers across the U.S. report between a 30 to 60 percent increase in lost pets between July 4 - 6 each year, according to Pet Amber Alert. Even more shocking is that only about 14 percent of these pets will return home. To make sure your pet doesn’t go missing this year, prepare ahead of time so both you and your pet can have a fun and safe celebration!

Ensure Your Pet Has a Proper ID

No one wants to imagine their cat or dog will run away, but loud noises can make even the best-behaved animals act out of character. If your pet does escape from you during fireworks or a big gathering, you’ll want to ensure they can be identified. Make sure your pet’s collar fits properly and that their tag is easy-to-read with your contact info. Take your cat or dog to the vet to ensure their microchip is still active and has your most current address and phone number.


Set up a Safe and Quiet Place

While you may want your pet to enjoy the backyard barbecues and fireworks shows at your side, it’s safest to leave them home, especially if they are easily stressed. Pets are happiest when they have a safe and quiet place to relax! Try to choose a room away from your party or farthest from windows and set up your pet’s crate and bed. You can add comfy blankets and even play classical music or white noise to try to drown out the sounds outside.


Consider Calming Supplements

After you’ve determined where your dog will be staying, it’s time to make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need! Puzzle toys are a great way to keep a pet distracted and engaged. Additionally, consider purchasing calming supplements to help your pet manage stress during this scary time. Pet Releaf offers a line of CBD oils and chews to help pets manage stress, including a new Stress Releaf line with organic ingredients such as ashwagandha and chamomile.

After stocking up on high-quality hemp-based products, make sure you know exactly how and when to administer the products to your pet, so it kicks in at the right time. All animals are different, but in general, CBD will start affecting your dog around 30 minutes to an hour after consuming it.


Find out what dosage works best for your cat or dog and experiment ahead of the big day to make sure you know when and how much to administer. A good guideline is to give your pet a full dose an hour ahead of the fireworks show or party, and CBD has a half-life of nine hours. Keep reading to learn how to save 25% off with Pet Releaf!


Begin Desensitizing Your Pet to Loud Noise

With patience and training, there are ways to help your pet associate loud noises like fireworks, thunder, and doorbells with something positive. You can find many videos online that mimic the sounds of these noisy events. Turn on a video, then do something fun with your pet, like playing fetch or feeding them a meal. Increase the volume gradually while you continue to keep your dog active. This will help your dog associate scary noises with something that isn’t so scary!


Another way to expose your dog or cat to loud noises or thuds is to have a friend or family member drop a book or large object in your home (at a good distance away.) It’s normal for your dog to be jumpy at first, but make sure you remain calm. Dogs can pick up on negative emotions. And, of course, when you notice your dog behaving calmly, make sure to reward the behavior with treats and praise!


Make a Plan

You’ve done the work and prepared your dog for July 4th! The final step is to have a concrete plan in place for the day and to make sure the people you live with know your plan. This may include taking your dog for a long walk in the morning and afternoon before the fireworks show, giving your dog a calming supplement at dinnertime, then keeping your dog indoors in their safe room for the night. Make sure others in your home know where the dog will be. You wouldn’t want a guest to open your bedroom door after hearing whining only to have your dog bolt down the stairs and out the door. Your plan should also include knowing the closest animal hospital and nearby shelters in the chance your dog does accidentally go missing.


Ultimately, it is your responsibility to prioritize your pet’s needs. If that means staying home from a party and curling up for a movie in a quiet room with your cat or dog, their safety and happiness outweighs a fun night out at the expense of your pet getting lost or injured! However, with the right preparation, both you and your pets can have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.


Looking for more tips and advice for apartment living with your pup? If you’re living in a Bark Building, you can reach out to your Pet Concierge, who is ready to provide personalized assistance for all your pet care needs!


Pet Releaf’s USDA-certified organic CBD chews and CBD oils are third-party tested and designed specifically for pets. Their high-quality products are formulated to help dogs experience calmness and to manage situational stress. Bark Buildings residents get exclusive access to 25% off all Pet Releaf products using BB25.