How to Help Calm Your Pet on the Fourth of July

As exciting as Independence Day is for us humans, the Fourth of July is one of the most notoriously difficult days of the year for our pets. There are loud, unfamiliar noises that can cause them to shake out of fear—quite literally—which is only compounded by our absence as we celebrate away from home.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) even notes that more pets go missing on July 4 and 5 than any other days of the year. This occurs when dogs and cats become so frightened and anxious that they try to escape the yard or house in search of safety and silence.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help reduce your pets’ anxieties on and around the Fourth of July. Here’s how you can prepare.

Blow Off Some Steam Earlier in the Day

If your pet has built-up energy, that can lead to a disastrous evening on the Fourth of July. Make a concerted effort to exercise and stimulate your pets in the days leading up to the holiday. Maybe that means extra-long walks, ample time at the dog park, or playing mentally stimulating/physically exerting games indoors.

MODERNBEAST sells a fun range of sustainable toys for cats and dogs that ought to do the trick! Bottom line: the more worn out your pet is, the easier it’ll be for them to sleep through some of the commotion of fireworks.

Insulate Your Pets Indoors

Examine your home and try to determine the most insulated, coziest spot for your pet, then make that their “go to” spot for the evening. This might be your bedroom or a bathroom, for example. The less noise that can get into the room, the better. Bring everything they need into this space, including a blanket, something that smells like you, food, water, potty supplies, and toys. (Also, this might be obvious, but do bring your pets inside for the Fourth of July. They are more likely to run away and get lost if outdoors.)

As an alternative, consider crating your pet if that’s something that typically calms their nerves. Fable's Crate is a cozy, anxiety-relieving spot that doubles as a chic side table. For cats, try something like the Litter Robot Cat Side Table, which even has a side-scratcher!

Try Calming Clothing

It might sound silly, but pet owners around the globe swear by calming clothing for dogs and cats! These items work similarly to swaddling a baby. The snug, consistent gentle pressure helps them feel secure even in stressful moments like Fourth of July fireworks.

Thundershirt is one of the premiere options, and it comes in a range of sizes to accommodate your pet (including cats). The brand says, “Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt.” The Happy Hoodie Calming Cap for Dogs is another good option.

Stay Home, Hire a Sitter, or Use a Camera

If it’s feasible, keeping close to your pet throughout the Fourth of July weekend is recommended. The reality is that when you’re there with them, they feel safer. That said, we do understand a desire to get out and enjoy the holiday. If you won’t be at home, consider hiring a dog sitter that evening to be with your pet. Alternatively, try using a product such as Furbo, a wifi-enabled camera that allows you to see/talk to your pets and disperse treats from anywhere.

If you have any great tips for helping your pets on the Fourth of July—or want to hear how others are making sure their pets feel safe—come swap advice and stories on purrch. This thriving community, and the world’s only pet-first social media app, is filled with pet enthusiasts just like you.  

Purrch is powered by a team of ultra-passionate pet peeps, adoption advocates, and fellow pet nerds who believe that animals big and smol make us—and the world—better. We can’t wait to see your heckin’ cute pets, watch your Tails, and build friendships along the way. You can download the purrch app here