It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of fireworks. Maybe it’s that I’ve had to share the limelight with them for the past (almost) 25 years or maybe it is because they are so darn loud. I think the best way to watch fireworks is from far far away. Then you can see the beautiful patterns they make in they sky, but you don’t have to hear each boom and bang.

I’m not alone in my relative dislike of fireworks. Odds are that your pets don’t like them either. In fact, July 5th is the busiest day for most shelters across the country because so many pets get spooked and run away. Sadly, only a small percentage of those pets ever get reunited with their humans.

Last year I collected a list of 9 great resources for keeping your pets safe on Independence Day, so this year I decided to tackle July 4th from another angle. Today we are talking about alternative ways to celebrate 239 years of independence and keep your pets safe at the same time.

5 Dog Friendly Alternatives to Fireworks this Fourth of July

5 Dog Friendly Alternatives to Fireworks this Fourth of July

1. Go Camping
One of the best parts about an extra day off in the middle of summer is spending some time in the great outdoors. There is no better way to do that then to go camping with your dog. If you are new to camping, don’t worry we have a whole guide about Camping with Dogs for Beginners! Be sure to find a spot in a state or national park where fireworks aren’t allowed. If that isn’t an option then you can try camping out in your living room. Everyone loves a good blanket fort!

2. Have an Ice Cream Social
I don’t know about you, but July can be HOT and HUMID. Nothing tastes better on a ridiculous summer day than ice cream! Invite friends and family over and include your pups too. Whip up a easy batch of peanut butter or chicken ice cream for the dogs and go crazy with fun toppings for the humans.

3. Watch a Patriotic Movie
If you still want to do a little something patriotic on July 4th, snuggle up and watch a patriotic movie with your pup. Some good options might include Top Gun, Forrest Gump, Air Force One, Independence Day, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, or even some National Treasure!

4. Stuff Your Face at a BBQ
If you want to spend some time outside, but aren’t crazy about the creepy crawlies that might be lurking in the woods, a BBQ might be for you and your pup. Go crazy and cook up some dog friendly BBQ treats. It is a holiday after all. BBQs are typically during the day so you can head inside for safety before the fireworks go off.

5. Host a Dog Olympics
A planned event like a Dog Olympics is another way to spend some time outside during the day. Plan several different events and see who wins gold. You can even assign countries, but the dogs might fight over the good old US of A!

Even if you decide to do one of these great options, remember to still stay prepared. You never know who is going to be setting fireworks off in their backyard, unfortunately.

Double check your pet’s microchip is up to date. If your pet doesn’t have one, get one and register it right away. Keep an eye out for discount programs and inquire at your vet office.

Make sure your pet is wearing his or her tags. Verify that your contact information is correct on the tags as well. If you need a new one, check your local pet store or even Walmart for a quick ID tag.

Bring calming aids with you like the Thundershirt. The Thundershirt is easy to pack and great to have on hand if your pup gets anxious. Plus, they now even have festive red and blue Thundershirts!

Luna in her Red Polo Thundershirt

We’re headed to a cabin in Southern Virginia for the long weekend and I’ll be doing all of these before we leave for our trip!

ONE lucky Beagles & Bargains reader will receive a Thundershirt!

USA residents are eligible to enter via the Rafflecopter below. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, July 12, 2015. The winner will be notified via email within 48 hours of the giveaway closing and will have 48 hours to respond and claim his or her prize. The winner will be able to select the size and pattern of the Thundershirt.

Calming Aids like the Thundershirt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received no compensation or additional benefits for mentioning the products in this post. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business. Thunderworks is responsible for all giveaway prizes including shipping.

Jessica Shipman
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