Search Menu
Border Collie sitting with sunglasses an the American flag dropped over behind him.
Leigh Prather /

Fireworks, barbecues and outdoor fun go hand in hand with Independence Day, but the loud noises and change in routine can upset our four-legged friends. According to AKC Reunite, American Kennel Club’s (AKC®) pet ID and recovery service, the Fourth of July is among the most active times of year for pet recovery. The sound of fireworks commonly causes dogs to panic and run away. The American Kennel Club (AKC®) offers the following tips to help both dogs and humans have a happy and safe Fourth of July:

  • Safety First: Even though you enjoy your dog’s company, it is safer to keep your dog at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing him along to the festivities. Being outside in a new environment with the loud noises can increase anxiety levels. Keep him in the house where he is comfortable, rather than in your yard. He will be a lot happier indoors and not tempted to leap over a fence to try to find you.
  • Avoid Sharing the Scraps: While tempting to our pets, human food is not for dogs, so it’s best not to feed your dog scraps at your backyard barbecue. A sudden change to your dog’s diet can cause an upset stomach. Additionally, certain foods like grapes, onions, raisins and avocados can be toxic.
  • Be Sound Sensitive: Fireworks may be pretty to humans, but they are very loud and the noise can be extremely scary for your dog. Once the displays get started, keep him in a room where he is safe and relaxed. Block outside sights and sounds as much as possible by lowering the blinds and turning on the television or radio.
  • Keep His Collar On: Identification is extremely important in case your dog gets loose. Make sure to keep collar ID tag contact information up to date, have permanent ID with a microchip should his collar fall off, and always alert your pet recovery service to any changes in contact information so they can find you when your dog is recovered. For more information about Microchips and Pet Recovery Services, visit
  • Soothe Your Dog: If your dog seems overly anxious, spend some time with him, speaking soothingly to help him to relax.