Independence Day


For those of you that live in Utah with me, this article also counts for Pioneer Day for the holy and Pie-and-Beer day for the heathens. Since both holidays feature fire and blowing things up, let’s start with Fireworks.


Before I became a veterinary technician, and before I understood what PTSD was, I really used to love fireworks, but now… on this end… I prefer the barbecues and friends without the fireworks. Fireworks are nice and all, but not worth and the fear and frustration they cause so many humans and animals.

If you have fur kids that are completely terrified of fireworks, you’ll want to start well before the holiday to think about what you can do to help them. For starters, find them a nice secure place with no windows or escape paths and play movies or calming music your pet enjoys to block out other scary sounds and let them ride out the storm there, safe and secure.

Far too many pets end up in shelters after fireworks. Don’t let it be yours.

If your pet needs more than just a safe place and white noise, here are some talking points for you to bring up with your favorite veterinarian on our page about Anxiety.


There are many prescription medications that can be of great benefit to your pet, but please stay away from ones that sedate the body and not the mind. It just gets worse if your scared to death and can’t move! ACK!! I’ve had nightmares like that and I can tell you, it does not ease the mind in the slightest.

Or Just Go Camping and Avoid it All:

I actually got this tip from a retired marine that couldn’t watch fireworks due to his PTSD. He always takes his family and goes high in the mountains, above the sounds and the crowds where they can watch the pretty lights of the fireworks without the noise and chaos. Safe and free in the mountains with nothing but nature to soak up the stress. Just be cautious of campgrounds that allow fireworks. The last thing you want to do is lose your best friend in the mountains.

Not Sure What Your Pet will Make of Fireworks?

Watch movies with fireworks in them to see what your pet thinks or try to find a recording of fireworks and play it very softly while you play games and do fun things your dog enjoys and slowly work up the volume.

It’s best to have an educated guess on how they’re going to react before hand so you’re not stuck with a traumatized dog that tried to jump through your plate glass window to get away from the scary noises. It isn’t a joke. We saw many lacerated dogs on the noisy holidays from the panicked scramble to escape. Some hit by cars too, for those that bolted into traffic.

Think Your Pet May EAT a Burning Firework?

Think I’m kidding? What’s the difference to your dog between throwing a stick and throwing a firecracker or sparkler?


They can also paw at or step on smoldering fireworks, run off with fireworks you thought were spent or just run into one from sheer dumb luck! Keep your pet leashed or somewhere safe when the fireworks begin. It may save you a trip to the ER.

Try a few of these options together, or just one tried and true thing. Try something new. Try something else. Please.

I hate seeing the fear.

I hate feeling it with them.


Having or attending a barbecue is one of my favorite things. Why, if I had my own house I’d have a barbecue every decent weekend ever. I just love being outdoors with friends and family and sharing good food and drinks. Your pets love this too, but it is not without its own hazards. We have had to do surgery to remove everything from balls and chairs to metal steak skewers and wood shish-kebab sticks from tender bellies! Ugh!







We’ve treated burnt noses and paws from hot coals and grills.

We have even hospitalized pets for days due to Pancreatitis brought on by too many fatty treats, both stolen from the table and willingly offered by a loving hand.

Don’t fall for those puppy eyes. It isn’t worth the anxiety and cost of a very sick or injured pet. Keep them away from from the barbecue and the tables. Go to the treat page for some ideas on what you can share but it’s better to keep them in the yard to play with everyone that has finished eating.

Heck, set up a kiddy pool and let them romp in it. That’s much more fun than food in most cases!

Drugs and Alcohol

I’ve seen an uncountable number of pets that have eaten hash brownies, illegal narcotics or prescription medications that were left unsecured during festivities. Please, for all that is holy, keep these away from your pets and family. If they manage to get to these no-no’s despite your best efforts, please just tell us what your pet ate so we can treat them right! Tell us its all your neighbors-friends-sister’s fault if you like. We don’t care. We just want to treat your pet.

Lies will get us nowhere.


On the parade rout I have seen dogs hurts kids and kids hurt dogs. I’ve even seen a dog fight between passing pets. Personally, my anxiety is crazy hyped the whole time, but I brave it for my kids. If you have a chill dog with good recall and leash manners, I won’t say a word.

For all the other dogs… Please just leave them safe away from the loud noises, candy getting thrown at them and strange people crowding around them.