Fourth of July comes with Bangs and Booms

Celebrations for Independence Day will soon be upon us. The proud citizens of New Boston, New Hampshire will be sure to set off bangs and booms. There are many people who look forward to the traditional Fourth of July celebrations: parades, barbecues, and fireworks being the hallmarks. Unfortunately, our canine companions do not understand our need to celebrate and especially don’t understand why there are sudden explosions all around. This is why the Fourth of July is the number one day of the year that  pets go missing. Fun for us, not for many of our animals. Following are tips to help make your Fourth of July a successful one for you and your dog:


  • Keep as much consistency to your dog’s daily schedule, but be ready to adjust as dusk approaches.
  • Take your dog for a longer walk during the day and give give extra brain game outlets before the festivities. This is especially true if you are leaving your dog home alone during the fireworks displays.
  • Establish a designated dog safe haven within your house that preferably has no windows. This room should already be established as safe and relaxing for your dog well before festivities begin.
  • If your dog seeks out their crate you can include sound proof crate covers or sound buffering pads.
  • Make sure items needed during the fireworks are already in the room. There are many management tools and interactive toys that can help, list is at the bottom of the blog.
  • Put on their Thundershirt (which you already happily exposed them to!). Thundershirt’s are well worth the investment.  If it does not help ease your dog’s stress, many big box stores will let you return it.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a flat buckle collar with their current ID tags attached with your up to date phone number. Updated info includes their microchip as well.
  • Watch out for door dashing!
  • Have a metal exercise pen around the main door to have as a second point of safety.
  • If your dog has a negative history with fireworks, especially if they are phobic, contact your veterinarian ASAP, not the week before!


  • Place your dog in the room before fireworks with enough time for them to nestle down.
  • Use box fan, sound machine, classical music, TVs to mask the sound of scary noises. We have found sound machines in combination with box fans to be the most effective.
  • Give your dog multiple interactive treat toys. Following are some examples: Snufflemats, LickiMats, Goughnuts K9 Kups, and Kongs.
  • If you can be present with your dog, even better.
  • With you present you can have treat parties and it goes like this… Boom →
    Happily say “Treat Party” → sprinkle kibble and treats around your dog. Repeat
    as necessary.
  • Introducing the “Treat Party” game before scary sounds only helps!


  • When you take your dog to potty have them on leash, even if your yard is fenced, and be ready to give them a high value treat immediately following any scary sound.
  • Indoors play their favorite game with extra excitement.
  • Settle for a snuggle session (if your dog is one who enjoys this!).
  • Be mindful of trigger stacking and that your dog may be extra sensitive in the days following.

Although bangs and booms culminate on the Fourth, throughout the summer there are festivities and outdoor activities that bring fireworks and gunshots heard throughout New Boston (don’t forget thunder and lightning.) If your dog is young or new to our town you can help them adjust by being proactive. When outside, especially the week before and after the Fourth, have a treat pouch with high value treats and toys. Gun shot → treat party,
firework → favorite ball toss, your sister’s “beautiful” singing → treat party!

List of tools to have on hand WELL BEFORE the Fourth of July:

  • Established safe room
  • Metal exercise pens
  • Sound buffers (heavy blankets, curtains, sound padding)
  • Sound machine
  • Box Fan
  • Thundershirt
  • Interactive treat toys. Following are some examples: Snufflemats, LickiMats, Goughnuts K9 Kups, and Kongs.
  • High value treats, think chicken!
  • DAPP diffuser
  • Double check your dog’s tags/micro chip are up to date.
  • If your dog is prescribed medication from your veterinarian to help with sound sensitivity, be sure your refills are in before it’s too late!
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