Many dogs are terrified of loud noises, especially the ones caused by fireworks on the Fourth of July. After adopting my first dog, Abbey, I quickly realized two of our most popular holidays scare her to death. Some people drug their dogs to help eliminate fear and anxiety, while others end up dealing with runaways. We simply decided to avoid fireworks by finding places where things do not go BOOM in the night. Finding dog friendly places on the Fourth of July can be difficult because cities host professional events, and your neighbors pop off illegal fireworks around those events. If you want to get away from all the noise, here are a few ideas from Pawsitively Adventurous.
Camp or Stargaze at a State Park
Many state parks are great places to take your dog, especially if you want to avoid fireworks. National parks are also an option, but they are generally less dog friendly. You can spend the night camping, or spend a few short hours looking up at the night sky without any loud noises. One of the only downsides is the travel. State parks are typically well outside of city limits. Checkout our first time camping tips if you want to give a dog friendly park a shot.
We visit state parks often, even on holidays like the Fourth of July. Most of these parks have quiet hours which are most welcome if you are trying to avoid fireworks. Explosives and loud noises would defeat the purpose of these parks. I’m often confused when I hear groups of people being very loud inside parks after dark. I guess some people just aren’t very good at being quiet. Many parks are in rural areas and are very quiet places.
We are heading to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area on the Fourth of July, which we have done on multiple occasions. This is one of our best ways to avoid fireworks. Climb Enchanted Rock, hike the loop trail, and survey the dark skies at this state park in Texas. We have yet to camp here because we learned early on that tent camping is not our favorite thing. However, we may do so in the future by way of a pop up, or remodeled camper van.
Visit a Dog Friendly Beach
This option may, or may not, be more difficult than finding a state park. It depends on where you live. Much like parks, some beaches allow visitors to camp, swim and hangout with their dogs. You’ll need to find a dog friendly beach if you plan on doing any activities. Although, any beach may do if you simply relax in your vehicle with the windows down. There are dog friendly options along the Gulf Coast, but New Smyrna Beach (on the East Coast) is the only we have visited this far.
Stay at a Dog Friendly Resort
Some dog friendly resorts exist that do not allow fireworks around Fourth of July. These places will be difficult to find, but are a great option if you want to get away with your dog over the holiday. The following places have been verified by online reviewers to be dog friendly and firework-free.
- Suncadia Resort in Washington
- St. George Island Resort in Florida
- Cultus Lake Resort in Oregon
- Black Butte Ranch in Oregon
- Camp Sherman in Oregon
There are likely to be more dog friendly resorts, hotels and cottages which are also firework-free, but you may have to do your own research in this area.
Drive With the Windows Down
If you don’t like the previous options, or can’t get to them, you can always head out into the country with your four-legged friend. Most dogs love car rides, especially with the windows down. Part of the enjoyment probably stems from the anticipation of getting somewhere outside of the house. Even so, a car ride might be better than waiting it out in the house, and will leave your dog oblivious to the fireworks back home.
You can also park somewhere remote to watch the fireworks in the distance without hearing them. Again, this will depend on your location. Many areas here in Texas are great for driving through the country as it gets dark. Tour the Hill Country, drive along the coast, or travel through various terrain in Big Bend Country, including portions of the Rio Grande near Big Bend National Park. However, care must be taken on the roads after dark, when wildlife may be crossing.
Train Your Dog to Deal With Fireworks
Fireworks and other loud noises can seem like deal breakers for dogs, but it is possible to train a dog to remain calm when fireworks are heard outside of your home. Ask your dog trainer for help in this area, or you can attempt to desensitize your dog with positive reinforcement. This may take some work and patience on your part. Begin by playing a recording of fireworks at a very low volume. Praise your dog and give him goodies for calmly remaining by your side through the noise. Gradually, over the course of days and weeks, increase the volume of the recording and continue to shower him with praises. Do NOT use real fireworks or force your dog to go outside while real fireworks are going off. Desensitization may not work in every case because many dogs simply loathe loud noises, but it might be worth a shot.
Spend the Day at Puppy Camp
If all else fails, you could find a doggy daycare where staff members keep dogs engaged throughout the holiday. Camp Bow Wow is the only one I’m familiar with, but I’m sure there are others. At camp, your dog can play during the daytime, or spend the night with other pups. You can watch the action live from your device via their app. We’ve used Camp Bow Wow multiple times, but not over holidays. Any indoor facility within city limits is still going to be susceptible to explosive sounds, especially for dogs. However, there are plenty of puppy camps to be found outside of cities as well.
Other Places to Avoid Fireworks With Your Dog
This list of dog friendly places to avoid fireworks is not all-inclusive and merely recognizes a few ways we avoid fireworks around Independence Day. You should be able to check for professional events near you by using the Google list of events. Keep in mind, the events will not include any illegal fireworks displays in your area. Feel free to share your dog friendly experiences with others below. We can’t wait to hear how you stay away from the fireworks, and what kind of other places are available.
I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.
We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.
Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.