These Compassionate Cities Are Going Fireworks-Free This Fourth

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3 min read

Celebrating freedom should go hand-in-hand with respecting animals—which is why many conscientious cities are forgoing Fourth of July fireworks and embracing kinder options.

Compassionate Cities Go Fireworks-Free This Fourth of July

This year, PETA will provide Golden, Colorado, 100 free vegan hot dogs to enjoy at its animal-friendly Fourth of July celebration for its decision to hold a festival with live music, a picnic, and no fireworks.

Below are just a few of our favorite cities across the U.S. that are joining in on the fireworks-free fun and leading the way to a more compassionate holiday for all of us. In these cities, bombs won’t be bursting in air. Instead, there will be patriotic drone shows and live music festivals.

happy dog out for a walk

It’s time to let fireworks fizzle, as these noisy spectacles can be an anxiety-inducing nightmare for animals. Every year, animal shelters across the country report an uptick in lost dogs in the days surrounding July Fourth, and for many animals and their guardians, the holiday ends in tragedy. Last year, a dog died after fireworks caused a house fire in Arizona. In California, a dog fleeing from a similar fire was hit and killed by a car and two dogs who belonged to the same police K-9 unit went missing just days apart after being frightened by fireworks. Fireworks can also terrify and even kill wildlife and be extremely traumatic for veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Keep Your Companions Safe This Fourth of July

If your city isn’t doing a fireworks-free Fourth, here are some ways you can help protect your companion animals:

  • Never leave animals outside. Dogs kept chained or penned outdoors are in danger of hanging themselves if they leap over fences or of being lost, injured, or killed while trying to flee from the noises.
  • Never take animals with you to watch fireworks displays! If you know in advance that there will be fireworks in your area, stay home with your animals and try to help them feel safe.
  • Close your windows and curtains. To help drown out the sounds, turn on fans and air-conditioning units as well as the TV or a radio that’s tuned to a classical music station.
  • Purchase a ThunderShirt, which can help your dog or cat cope with the stress of the fireworks. Other ways to keep animals calm include playing specially composed music from iCalmPet and giving them melatonin, a natural supplement that’s widely available at low cost. (Consult your veterinarian first and for safe dosage, and be sure never to buy melatonin sweetened with xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.)
  • Make sure that your animal companion is microchipped (registered with your current information) and wearing a collar or a harness with an up-to-date identification tag, just in case they become separated from you.
  • If weather permits, take dogs for a long walk or a romp in a dog park before fireworks start in order to help tire them out and reduce their anxiety.
  • Note that dogs should only be taken outdoors on a leash during the summer. If someone sets off a firecracker, your dog might become frightened and take flight, jumping fences and disappearing from sight quickly.
  • If you witness someone setting off fireworks illegally, call authorities right away.
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