6 pet tips for 4th of July + a contest

June 26, 2013
Riley looked just like this when he was little, except for his color.

Riley looked just like this when he was little, except for his color.

(2017 update: am not running the contest this year)

The Fourth of July can be stressful for pets. We’re distant enough from big, official displays, but some of our neighbors still shoot off fireworks sporadically until the wee hours, especially scaring our 15 year old dog. He’s mostly deaf, but can certainly feel and hear them go off. When I had cats, they’d be super-stressed out by the noise, too. And then of course, Riley never loses an opportunity to bark at something. Independence Day is the perfect chance for him to work out his vocal cords.

So, I’ve got a few tips to keep your pets calm, cool and collected on Independence Day. One includes a potential purchase, so I’m posting now so you have time to buy this product online if you’d like to try it.  (No, I’m not being at all compensated for this. I just think it’s interesting)

Here’s the contest:  I’d love for you to share any Fourth of July pet tips you  might have. One winner will be chosen at random.  And here are my tips:


1. Keep your pets indoors. Your home may not be soundproof, but doors, walls and window coverings can buffer sound. And, if your pet can’t see flashing lights, that’s one less thing to upset her.

  1. If you’re concerned about the pet going crazy alone in the house, you might consider a few supplement ideas. Homeopathic Rescue Remedy is pretty popular to calm pets, available at most pet stores and many organic food stores. Add it to your pet’s water or spray it in the room.  Some people use a plug in DAP diffuser containing dog-appeasing pheromones with great success.  The diffusers are also available at most pet stores. Both of these methods seemed to work for our dogs a bit at first, and then not at all. But lots of pet owners feel they are effective and if you’ve got a nervous dog, they’re worth a try.
  2. Riley and Little He get a monthly Bark Box, a “surprise” box of organic and other high quality, non-Chinese treats and toys. Last time, they got this in the box:
    2013-06-20 06.10.59These yummy Calm-K-9 Nutri-wafers made in Portland, OR from human grade ingredients are said to help reduce a dog’s stress. I can vouch for their yumminess–Little He loves them.  They’re not really wafers, though. They’re thick and a little chewy.  Riley’s not sure if he likes them or not. Here’s what the manufacturer says is in them:
  • Omega 3 600 mg
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 300 mg
  • Magnesium Sulfate 250 mg
  • Chamomile Extract 200 mg
  • Ginger 100 mg


p>The jury’s out as to whether it’s working. Little He has canine cognitive dysfunction (doggie Alzheimers). He takes a melatonin every afternoon and later, a Xanax dose to reduce his significant anxiety, so it’s hard to determine if Calm K-9 works.  But it can’t hurt. Might be worth a try. You can buy them online. No, I’m not being compensated at all–I just thought these were a cool idea.

You might also call your vet about the right melatonin dose. It makes our dog a little drowsy, just like in humans, and it could calm yours.

Oh, are you interested in trying Bark Box as a little monthly surprise for your pups? They tell me that this link will not only give you info, but a $5 discount. I might get a referral credit, but I’m not sure if that’s the link that does it or not.

4. Keep your pet at home. Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays or Independence Day barbecues. You may love being with Fido and he with you, but this is one celebration where he’ll be happier at home.

5. If you’re celebrating at home, remember that alcohol, lighter fluid, matches and citronella are all poisonous to dogs. Yes, some idiots think it’s funny to give dogs beer. If you see this happening, stop it. And don’t leave poisonous stuff within reach. Keep your pet safe!

6. Finally, some dogs will freak out and it’s not uncommon on this holiday for dogs to jump fences and cats to escape. Be sure your pet is tagged or chipped just in case.

And finally,  if the weather’s warm and you want your dog to enjoy her own cocktail, how about a cold Bowzer Beer for your Bowser?

2013-06-20 06.10.28

Not kidding. This came in our Bark Box. Non-carbonated, non-alcoholic beef-flavored “beer” for dogs.  Serve it cold or at room temperature.  Yeah. a brew for dogs, gotta love it. We’re going to try it so our dogs can “drink” at our next party.

(2014 update: am not running the contest) If you’ve got a tip to keep your cats and dogs safe and calm on the Fourth of July, add it in the blog comments below. I’ll pick one winner per 15 comments -at random- on July 5. Thanks!

12 comments on “6 pet tips for 4th of July + a contest
  1. Jo Heroux says:

    As our fur babies have aged the anxiety during fireworks has increased. The Thundershirt is wonderful and our 12 year old Bichon is definitely comforted by wearing it. Available at larger Pet stores and online. We have also learned that putting them in the basement if we go away is a great idea. The sounds and vibrations are far less underground and neither our 12 year nor our 13 year old (rat terrier) react at all. We discovered this by accident when we were all down there during a neighbors little back yard expulsion do celebratory fireworks last year. They were both calm and quiet during a nearly 2 hour program of bangs! And cracks! And all sorts of noise.

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    Love the picture… :-), Fireworks can play havoc on our fur kids. My poor cat hides and I can almost hear his thoughts “Will it ever stop mom?” I do keep all these things in mind, it’s just the noise. I wonder if I could put earmuffs on him… LOL. Portably not. 🙂

  3. lee aldrich says:

    I LOVE the Bark Box! Our dog Wilson isn’t afraid of fireworks and the commotion, but lord help us when the bit of smoke from the stove sets off the alarms. You’d think he was on duty and scouting for the fire department!

  4. Laura Kennedy says:

    A lot of cats love cardboard boxes. I just got a big one (lampshades came in it. Red ones. Mmmm) and the cat’s been cautiously exploring it. I’m keeping it until after the 4th. I’m going to leave it by the bed–we’ll be away all day and I think she might just use it for a hide-out.

  5. Joyce says:

    There’s also a DAP collar that lasts for 30 days. Since it’s on your dog, it’s the closest to reaching and soothing your little one. There also are herbal calming collars (visit calmingcollars.com). My little guy has one of these.

  6. Anne @GenFabulous says:

    We crated our dog in the laundry room. It was windowless and cozy. doing laundry provided some masking noise. (Don’t draw me–our sweet little chihuahua passed away last year at 16.)

    • admin says:

      Anne, am so sorry about your sweet dog. We have a 15 year old, and every day is a gift. How lovely that you had your little dog so long–and yet, time passes too quickly, doesn’t it? I love little chihuauas, so adorable. Will you ever get another?

      . Riley is already past 6 years of age, I can’t believe it. When he goes, they’ll have to institutionalize me, I’m way too connected to him.

  7. Ronni Keller says:

    I wrote a whole post and even did a youtube video on Summer safety for pets!! As a service dog owner, training and safety is a really near and dear subject to me heart!

    Scoop your poop people! Poop scoopers are my heroes!
    (and don’t let me ever catch you leaving your dog locked in a car, I’ll totally bust that window open. In a nice way, of course) 🙂


1 Pings/Trackbacks for "6 pet tips for 4th of July + a contest"
  1. […] How to prepare your pets for the fourth of July was my subject last year.  If you’ve got a dog or cat, you want to read this one. Ignore the contest, though. That was last year. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.