Interview with Cesar Millan: Dog Safety Tips for The Fourth of July

Protect your canine from fireworks-induced stress.

Priya Sridhar


Happy Fourth, everyone! It is that time of the year for fireworks. And that means that Cesar Millan wants to talk dog safety. Firework, sparkler, and firecracker sounds can startle your pets, cause unnecessary stress, and even risk injury.

Also known as the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan has spent years training and rehabilitating canines for lifelong friendships with humans. He sat down with me to talk about how dog owners should prepare for nighttime noise.

On July 4, why are fireworks dangerous for pets and pet owners? And why should dog owners take care?

Dogs can hear up to three times better than people, given that they can identify pitches that surpass the ones we can. Sudden, loud sounds, such as fireworks shows, can injure their hearing and trigger fear responses. Fireworks can agitate your pet and trigger stress. Anxiety can showcase itself differently for each animal and may even encompass a fight-or-flee response. Some dogs may be scared in silence while others may bark or even run away.

What are some facts about fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers that pet owners may not know but should?

It is also important to pick up the fireworks and sparklers after use as they are most dangerous after they have been used. You want to avoid having your dog roam around and sniffing or getting close to the debris.

How can you best prepare your dog or a neighbor’s dog in addition to not lighting fireworks on the Fourth of July?

Ahead of time, you should work on desensitization by playing loud music and adding different sounds on a speaker. This will help your dog get used to the noise and keep the calmer day of. While playing the speaker, you can use treats to desensitize your dog.

I also recommend exercising your dog more than usual starting about a week in advance so that your dog is ready to go to your home where he feels peace, calm and rest. You can also take your dog for an hour walk or at a faster speed so they stay focused and work their body and mind at once.



Priya Sridhar

A 2016 MBA graduate and published author, Priya Sridhar has been writing fantasy and science fiction for fifteen years, and counting.