Surprising Fireworks Threats To Dogs

Beyond the Boom: 20 Surprising Fireworks Threats To Dogs

Most dogs hate the sound of fireworks. In fact, most animals despise them, too. Unfortunately, there are many fireworks threats to dogs that aren’t talked about a lot.

If you have a dog who is unfazed by fireworks (as I do), you’ll still find things on this list to protect your dog.

Animals Become Disoriented

According to pet health advocate, Rodney Habib:

  • Bees become so disoriented during fireworks, they don’t return to their hives
  • Birds have nighttime panic attacks, causing mass deaths
  • Wild animals raising babies leave their dens and abandon their babies in fear
  • Fish and other animals die after ingesting fireworks debris
  • Companion animals and support pet have anxiety and panic attacks
  • Human beings have PTSD

Dogs and Cats Try to Escape

I personally know of several dogs who smashed through windows of their homes in sheer panic and terror during firework displays.

Designate a safe space in your home for pets to retreat during festivities. Provide soothing, calming music and follow the tips in our post, Best Products for Dogs Afraid of Loud Sounds. We also created a helpful video.

fireworks dangers to dogs

After Fireworks Debris Dangers

If people shoot off fireworks and expect pet parents to scoop the poop, they owe it to us to clean their firework mess. After the celebrations, the remnants of fireworks left on the ground can be hazardous if pets ingest them, causing burns or poisoning.

dog fireworks

Flame and Spark Risks

Candles, sparklers, and fireworks can pose burn risks to curious pets who get too close not to mention the number of people who are hospitalized each year.

Dogs and Cats Go Missing in Huge Numbers

 Sadly, dogs “are most at risk for noise aversion” due to their sensitive hearing; cats experience noise-related anxiety as well. Be sure pets are microchipped and wearing a PetHub QR code tag. According to national statistics, animal control officials across the United States report a 30% to 60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th.

FACT: July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters.

Loud Music

Contrary to popular belief, blasting loud music so your pet can’t hear fireworks can make the situation worse. Apart from fireworks, loud music and celebrations can also cause auditory stress for pets, especially those with sensitive hearing.

Fireworks Smoke

The smoke from fireworks can irritate pets’ respiratory systems, especially in pets with preexisting conditions like asthma. Of note, people with respiratory issues suffer, too. Use an air purifier, keep the windows closed, and air conditioning on if possible.

Glow Sticks and Glow Jewelry

These popular non-fireworks items that glow in the dark should be kept far from pets. Glow sticks and jewelry contain chemicals that can be harmful if chewed or swallowed by pets.


Outdoor festivities can expose pets to scary sounds and high temperatures, leading to dehydration and heatstroke, especially if they’re left in hot cars or confined spaces without proper ventilation.

Never leave your pet in a car unattended no matter what time of year. Pets get stolen and can die from heatstroke.

Trash and Leftovers

Festive gatherings often result in overflowing trash bins, which can be tempting for pets but may contain harmful items like bones, skewers, or toxic foods.

Alcohol Poisoning

Pets might accidentally consume alcoholic beverages left unattended, leading to alcohol poisoning. According to Animal Emergency Care, “Alcohol toxicity is a common pet poisoning that can occur from ingestion, skin absorption, or inhalation of alcohol or alcohol-containing products. Dogs and cats of any sex or age are at risk however kittens and puppies have an increased risk because of their small size and undeveloped organ systems.”

Hot Pavement

Much of the country experiences high temperatures and this is very dangerous to delicate paw pads. Read our professional tips and advice on paw care.

cracked paw on dog

Broken Glass and Firework Remants

Shattered glass from drink bottles or decorations and fireworks can injure pets’ paws or mouths.

Caffeinated Drinks

Coffee, tea, or energy drinks left unattended can be toxic to pets. Keep beverages far from pets’ reach or wagging tails. A lot of dogs and cats are counter surfers.

Pancreatitis Risk

 Hot dogs and other grilled foods are high in sodium and fat. Hot dogs can cause pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset in pets.

Beach Dangers

If celebrating at the beach, seashells and sand can cause gastrointestinal issues if ingested. Be sure to read our summer dangers to dogs article.

Water Dangers

A lot of pets will jump into a pool in order to escape the scary sounds. Dogs can drown. Also, animals who are unattended around a pool can drown. Be sure to read our swimming dangers to dogs article.

Coco swimming

Hearing Damage

Not only are fireworks loud, but with a dog’s sensitive hearing, they can go temporarily or permanently deaf. Going to an area where fireworks cannot be heard as well is key, even if that means visiting family in the country or renting a pet-friendly hotel room.

Red Blood Cell Dysfunction

If pets swallow or consume fireworks, they can become very sick very fast. Since fireworks contain chlorate salts which oxidize red blood cells, this becomes a life-threatening condition.

Dog Theft

At least two million dogs are stolen every single year in the United States. Dognappers are actively searching for dogs left alone in backyards, tied up, or unattended. Don’t do it. Dogs and cats who escape out of fear and panic may become someone else’s pet or worse.

Stay safe today, all weekend, and all year round. Your dogs depend on you to make it happen.

Dog fireworks threats


  1. Carol… You should add risk of burns caused by BBQ injuries, be it curiosity, playing around the BBQ, stealing red hot food or investing lava rocks from a propane grill after it’s cooled. (Yep, my clients have seen all these issues.). Also retrieving explosives like m80s, firecrackers and ground bloom flowers. Never underestimate risks of introducing unfamiliar dogs in the presence of food either. Happy 4th and stay safe.

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