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Paws and Celebrate Safely: Top Tips to Keep Your Canine Happy and Calm This July 4th

Food. Fireworks. Parties. While many people love the Fourth of July holiday, it can be traumatic for pets who have a phobic reaction to the loud sights and sounds that are synonymous with holiday celebrations.

With dogs and cats getting spooked and running away from yards, doors, and even screened windows to escape the chaos, the day can go from being festive to fraught for pet owners, too.
Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director at Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelter in 2025, suggests being proactive as much as possible by following the four tips below:
Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely to occur and secure them in a quiet room. Close the windows, draw the curtains, and surround them with their favorite toys and treats. It can help to play calming music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.
Always keep pets away from lit fireworks. Some pets will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk of being burned or blinded in the process.
Be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach, as fireworks contain substances that are toxic if ingested.
Ensure your pets are wearing identification tags with your current contact information. Also, make sure their microchip contact information is up-to-date.
By following the above safety precautions, pets can stay safe at home and out of already crowded shelters.
“I recommend that all pet owners find out the contact information of their local emergency clinic and local shelters ahead of time, so that it’s quickly within reach in those unexpected moments,” cautioned Katribe.
Best Friends Animal Society recently launched its new HOME campaign to inspire people to adopt a pet. Data shows that if just 6 percent more Americans would adopt rather than purchase a pet from a breeder or store, America would be no-kill.
If you are looking for a dog or cat, now is an ideal time to bring home a new best friend. To find a local shelter or rescue near you, visit
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters and make the country no-kill in 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to 415,000 last year.
Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,700 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit

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about the author

Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.

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