For you, it’s a day with family and friends, relaxing, eating and watching pretty lights in the night sky. For your pet, however, the Fourth of July is pretty much the end of the world each and every year—or so they think. So much so that you may come back home to a shredded shoe, a ripped curtain or worse: an accident.

With a little extra attention, however, you and your pets can all have a stress-free Fourth that is fun and accident free.

Our resident vet experts have some simple tips to minimize your pets’ stress levels during fireworks celebrations:

  • Be Prepared: If your cat or dog is prone to anxiety, a pheromone collar can help. You can even start a few days before the big day. Also, natural supplements with tryptophan (the very same stuff in the Thanksgiving turkey) or other well-known, natural calmatives can help. Give them to your pooch or kitty a couple hours before the fireworks begin.
  • Watch the Clock: Your pets get a curfew on July 4th: they should all be in before dark. Take your dog for the last potty break of the day at dusk. If you have an outdoor cat, bring it in for the night.
  • Soundproof Your Home: Close all windows and drapes and put on the TV or radio to help drown out the sound of the fireworks with background noise.
  • Create Safe Zones For Your Pet: For cats, make sure they have a dark place to hide, like in a cupboard or under the bed. For dogs, keep them in their kennel or crate with a favorite toy and chewy.
  • Be Prepared For Accidents: If your pet still gets stressed and pees, poops or vomits during the evening, clean the mess as soon as possible.

Just a few preparations can make your Independence Day celebrations less stressful for both you and your pet. Have any other tips for a safe and sane 4th of July with your pets? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!