Guide on Cats, Dogs and Fireworks Safety

If you are a dog owner, you probably already know that dogs and fireworks are not great friends. With the 4th of July on the way, you are right to feel worried. 

After all, fireworks make this holiday so magical, so there really is no way to avoid them. 

Fortunately, there are ways to help your pet deal with that fear. Read more to find out how to have a great holiday with your pet without stress.

Dogs and Fireworks

Out of all types of pets, dogs seem to be the most scared of fireworks. If you have ever seen a dog scared of fireworks and shaking, know that it’s nothing unusual.

If you want to learn more about your dog’s fear and how to help them overcome it, stay tuned.

Why Do Dogs Hate Fireworks?

When we think about fireworks, we think about the explosion of colors and the fun we have watching them. 

For dogs on the 4th of July, the fireworks are something completely different.  

Fireworks are loud, very bright, and can even smell like something is burning. Does it remind you of something? 

To dogs, fireworks are like thunder. And hardly anybody likes thunder. 

So, dogs that are afraid of thunder and fireworks are not uncommon. To clarify further, there are two main factors why dogs don’t like fireworks. 

Developed Senses

Dogs’ hearing is much more developed than that of people — dogs can hear 1.75% better than we can. 

Now, imagine how it is listening to loud, exploding noises with enhanced hearing. It’s no wonder that dogs and fireworks are not a good combination.

Dogs’ sense of smell is also fantastic. This is why they are often used for searching, detecting, and tracking everything from drugs to people. A burning smell is never pleasant but combined with loud noises and intense light, it is insufferable. 

Dogs don’t have the greatest sight of all animals. But, they see better at night than we do, so the harsh lights of the fireworks are an irritant.

Element of Surprise

On the 4th of July, dogs experience everything at once and in large quantities. Fireworks don’t just happen and then stop altogether. They are repeated in irregular intervals and last for quite a while. 

Because we know what’s happening, we are not scared. However, dogs don’t have a calendar, and it’s just a regular day for them. 

If we were surprised by an exploding noise that emitted light on a regular day, we would be scared too. So, it’s easy to understand why fireworks and dogs are best kept apart. 

Why can dogs be traumatized by fireworks?

If you live near the place where the fireworks displays are common, and you are a dog owner, you are more likely to have a dog scared of fireworks

As mentioned, one reason for this fear is that they cannot understand what’s happening, so calming dogs on 4th of July is crucial. 

Some dogs just hide in the corner and tremble, while others may try to escape.

Although trembling is not usually a life-threatening situation, trembling and muscle spasms can cause an increased body temperature, which can hurt them.

Moreover, if a dog tries to escape, getting hurt is a real possibility. Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress.

Preparation for the Fourth of July With Dogs

If you know when the fireworks display will start, like in the case of the 4th of July, you can use this info to prepare. 

Dogs and Fireworks Tips for Preparation

These are some tips you should follow when preparing your dog for the fireworks display:

  • Stay inside with your dog. Seeing fireworks from a close distance may be interesting to you. Still, it won’t be to your dog terrified of fireworks. If you like watching fireworks, find someone to keep your dog company while you’re out.  
  • Close your windows. Closing the windows will make the sounds coming from outside less loud. 
  • Play some music or a film/series. The noise coming from a TV is something your dog is used to. This can help them feel more relaxed, and it will muffle the sound of fireworks. 
  • Provide them with a safe place. Find a place in your house where it’s darker and quieter. Place their bed and their toys there. A dog afraid of fireworks will be able to go there and feel safer for the night.

If your dog hates fireworks, it’s crucial to make it feel comfortable by making the fireworks as quiet as possible. Of course, you can’t mute the sound of fireworks entirely, but you can make it less powerful. 

If your dog is easily scared by thunder and similar loud sounds, you may want to consider investing in some stress-relieving products. 

How to Calm a Dog During Fireworks: Products that Work

Besides following the tips previously mentioned, some products can help by calming dogs during fireworks

Many people think that in a situation that involves dogs and fireworks, medication may be the solution. 

Although it can be helpful, keep in mind that only vet-approved medication can be used. The chemicals in tablets, powders, or pills made for humans can be harmful to dogs. 

If you don’t know what to use as a remedy for a dog scared of fireworks, you can never go wrong with natural products.

Different calming toys and even clothes, such as Thundershirt, can be helpful. By either stimulating or performing light acupressure, they can help your dog stay calm and distracted from the fireworks.

Natural supplements and different natural calming oils, such as camomile, lavender, hemp oil for dogs, can all be a great way of relieving a dog’s anxiety and calming the dog during fireworks

You can rest assured that your dog will stay as calm as possible with no side effects.

Additionally, treats that you know your dog loves — or even better, quality CBD dog treatscan provide another tasty way of bringing calmness to your dog. 

If you find your dog traumatized after fireworks, you can apply the same calming products until they are more relaxed. Of course, some cuddling goes without saying — a  bit of love goes a long way. 

Cats and Fireworks

Just like dogs, cats are not fond of fireworks. A cat that is scared of fireworks is nothing new for pet owners. This is especially visible during events like the 4th of July, where the fireworks are the central attraction. 

Do Cats Get Scared of Fireworks and Why

Like dogs, cats see fireworks as a big, smelly, loud explosion. They are equally sensitive to all of the mentioned, and the fireworks irritate all their senses. This is one of the reasons some people consider fireworks animal cruelty.

Cat Senses

Cats also have developed senses, some even more developed than dogs. 

Their hearing is amazing —they can detect high frequencies. They can even locate where the sound is coming from. Cats’ ears are their means of communication, so they become confused if they hear an extremely loud noise.

Their sense of smell is also great, so the burning smell of the fireworks irritates them. Therefore, the fact that loud fireworks and cats are not the greatest tandem shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Element of Surprise

Even more than dogs, cats hate being surprised. Fireworks that explode out of nowhere are not the greatest sign for one of nature’s great hunters. So, for most cats, the Fourth of July celebration and fireworks are terrifying.

How Do Fireworks Affect Cats?

Like dogs, cats go through a high amount of stress during fireworks. When fireworks last for a long time, cats will feel a lot of anxiety and will have a problem going back to ‘normal’ again.

So, are cats scared of fireworks? The answer is as simple as it gets — yes. 

At first, their reaction might be to run away. They may run away too far and accidentally get lost

They can get hurt, stuck somewhere, and because of the stress, unable to find their way back home on their own.

Luckily, there are ways we can prevent the consequences.

Preparation for the Fourth of July With Cats

Fourth of July may be a stressful event for cats, but again — we know when it is, meaning that we can prepare for it. 

Tips for Owners With Cats That Are Afraid of Fireworks

The following tips are used to calm down a cat during the fireworks:

  • Keep the cat inside and the windows closed.
  • Lock the cat door if you have it.
  • Play some music.
  • If the cat hides in the house, leave them be. They can become aggressive when stressed.
  • Put the litter box inside.
  • Check for any remains of the fireworks before letting your cat out the following day. The combination of fireworks and pets can be dangerous, and remains can be accidentally digested.

Unlike dogs, when stressed, cats don’t usually like to cuddle. If they hide and want to be alone, let them be — it’s nothing to worry about. 

You should try making your house as quiet as possible. Also, if you think that your cat needs something more to help them survive the holiday, some products can help them. 

Products Used to Help Cats Scared of Fireworks

Cats are really playful, so a toy, like a cat tree or something similar, may help them forget about the fireworks. 

If the fireworks in your area are extremely loud for the Fourth of July, cats might not find enough comfort in toys.

However, quality CBD oil for cats and other natural calming substances/oils will help keep your cat’s stress levels as low as possible. 

Other Pets and Fireworks

Besides cats and dogs, other pets can get scared of fireworks too. If you have a horse, parrot, rabbit, or any other pet, they might experience it in the same way as cats or dogs. 

Simply put, fireworks and animals don’t mix.

Are fireworks harmful to animals besides cats and dogs?

Animals and fireworks usually don’t mix well. Most animals have better hearing than we do and, because they don’t know what’s happening, go through a great deal of stress. They become disoriented and anxious and are likely to run away.

Fireworks Tips for Pets

There are some tips to help you help your pet:

  • Keep your pet inside for the night, if possible. 
  • If your pet doesn’t have their own place (stable and similar), and you cannot keep them in the house, make sure they are in an area they cannot escape from. 
  • Make sure there is somebody with the pet when the fireworks displays start.
  • You can cover a part of the cage of smaller pets to stop the noise and light from coming in.
  • CBD oils for horses can be of great help if your pet is a horse. 


How do you comfort animals during fireworks?

Each type of pet, and individual pets themselves, prefers different approaches. Some like to be cuddled, while some prefer to be left alone. 

Cats, for example, don’t like being touched, and you can only make it worse.

There are other ways of comforting them, like providing them with a safe place to hide. Also, giving them their favorite toys or treats can be very helpful.

You should try to apply the advice on pets and fireworks safety, but in the end, you know what your pet likes the most.

Can you give a dog Xanax for fireworks?

Yes, and no. 

Yes, dogs can take Xanax. However, you shouldn’t give it to your dog without previous consultation with a vet. 

Although Xanax is approved for use in pets, it is used only for anxiety that is not treatable with anything else. 

If your dog is generally anxious and a vet has already prescribed Xanax to them, it’s perfectly fine to use it.

If you are just afraid and want to use it in the situation of dogs and fireworks or for calming your pet, it won’t be as effective as you might expect. 

Xanax can also cause withdrawal problems, so you could actually be causing more harm than good. For the cases of fireworks anxiety, there are better and more natural ways to help your dog. 


Can dogs die from fear of fireworks?

It’s not likely that a dog will die from fear. Dogs can go through a lot of stress during the fireworks — their bodies shake, their body temperature rises, and they become disoriented. 

Additionally, if your dog suffers from any disease, this disease can become more noticeable.

In general, dogs scared of thunder and fireworks can be significantly impacted if they are already sick and nothing is done to protect them from the fireworks. 

That being said, it’s still unlikely that they will die — but it may take them a while to recover if you don’t prevent the additional fireworks-caused stress.

(DoggySaurus, RSPCA, Pet health Rx)

Can cats get PTSD from fireworks?

Cats can suffer from PTSD. Getting PTSD from fireworks is unlikely, but not impossible.

During the fireworks, cats can lose their sense of orientation, become excessively violent, or even run away.

So, a cat afraid of fireworks can have symptoms of PTSD after the fireworks displays stop. 

If you notice that your cat behaves differently after the fireworks, you should seek the help of your vet. But better be safe than sorry, and prepare for the fireworks beforehand.

(Paws Chicago, RSPCA, Atlanta Pet Life)

Should I let my dog hide during fireworks?

Yes, letting your dog hide during fireworks is a good idea. 

Because fireworks scare dogs, their normal reaction is to either escape or hide. If your dog is still in the house and doesn’t seem too upset but hides in a corner or somewhere under the furniture, you have no reason to worry. 

Providing your dog with a place to hide is also great because it helps them feel safe. When you feel that your dog is ready, you can go into their hiding place and pet them. After some time, they’ll feel safe enough to come out. 

(Pet Health Rx)

Does hemp work to calm dogs?

Hemp is a good solution for calming your dog in stressful events.

It is a natural calming agent, and studies show that it is safe for dogs. Different hemp oils are beneficial to dogs that have anxiety issues and many other problems. 

(Great Pet Care)

Does CBD help dogs with fireworks?

CBD lowers anxiety and can help dogs with fireworks. 

CBD oils and CBD-infused treats can be of great help to all pet owners, and especially dog owners. CBD is also a good option for calming dogs during fireworks.

CBD oils are natural and can help your dog feel less anxious during the fireworks. 

You need to give the oil or the treats to your dog before you expect the fireworks to begin, and they will calm your pet for the event. 

If you are considering a CBD product for your pet, we’ve done the legwork and reviewed the leading CBD companies in the industry.

(Great Pet Care)


In the end, pets, especially dogs, and fireworks are not a good combination. Fireworks irritate them and give them stress and anxiety. 

The great thing is that you can help them. Prepare everything in advance, give your pet a lot of love, and you are set to have a great 4th of July together.  


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