A family and their dog celebrating the 4th of July.

4 Ways to Spend the 4th of July with Your Furry Friends

Based on an article that first appeared at

When it comes to the 4th of July, most resources available online are geared toward pet safety, and with good reason. This fun summer holiday can present a number of risks and dangers for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. But the 4th of July doesn’t haven’t to be all doom and gloom for pet owners. In fact, there are a number of fun and safe ways to include your dog in the festivities!

In this blog, we’ll be sharing a few of our favorite ways to spend a safe and memorable 4th of July with our canine companions. 

1. Go For a Dip

No matter where you are in the United States, the 4th of July is more often than not HOT. In fact, July 4, 2023 was the hottest day on Earth in recorded history. With that in mind, there’s no better way to beat the heat than by going for a swim! Whether you have access to a pool, a lake, a river, or even a dog-friendly beach, a refreshing dip can be a fantastic way for both you and your pup to cool down and have fun.

Dog playing in a sprinkler.

If you don’t have access to a proper place to swim, remember, most dogs aren’t picky, they’re just happy to splash around! For those with limited space, kiddie pools, sprinklers, and splash pads are great options to give your dog a dedicated place to cool off. 

Check out some top resources for dog water and swimming safety:

2. Cool Off With a Frozen Treat

There’s nothing better than a cold treat on a hot day, and your dog might agree too! While you could go to the supermarket or a specialty pet store and buy premade ice cream or other frozen treats, spending some time in the kitchen with your dog whipping up custom frozen treats is a great bonding experience and leaves your dog with a tasty reward for later!

Frozen Dog Treat Recipes to Try

Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Bites

Ingredients: Ripe bananas, peanut butter (make sure it’s xylitol-free), and plain yogurt.
Instructions: Mash the bananas and mix them with peanut butter and yogurt. Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays or silicone molds and freeze for a few hours.

Watermelon Pops

Ingredients: Seedless watermelon and water.
Instructions: Blend the watermelon and a little water until smooth. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays or molds and freeze.

Frozen Broth Cubes

Ingredients: Low-sodium chicken or beef broth.
Instructions: Pour the broth into ice cube trays and freeze it. These can be given to your dog as a refreshing snack or added to their water bowl for a flavored drink.

Homemade frozen treats are great options for dogs, because you can control exactly what goes in them, tailoring each treat to your dog’s likes and dislikes. These treats can also be more than just fun and have added nutritional benefits and help keep your dog hydrated in the summer heat. But when trying any of these recipes, be sure to remember any of your dog’s dietary restrictions!

Dog in a tent while camping.

3. Explore the Great Outdoors

For dogs who may be anxious about fireworks or large backyard gatherings, a camping trip or day out in nature may be the perfect way to spend the holiday. Escaping to the quiet of nature and avoiding large gatherings and fireworks can be refreshing for both you and your pup. 

Camping is a quintessential summer activity, and with more and more campgrounds becoming dog-friendly, it’s a great option for escaping the typical hubbub of 4th of July celebrations and enjoying a quieter and more relaxed holiday. 

If camping isn’t exactly your thing, but you still love the idea of spending the 4th of July out in nature with your dog, consider going on a day hike or even just getting away and spending some time in a local nature park. This way, you and your dog can get a little taste of outdoor adventure without the full commitment of packing for a camping trip or spending the night away from home. 

4. Make Your BBQ Dog-Friendly

If there’s one summer activity Americans love, it’s barbecuing. According to a 2020 survey of American grill owners, 68 percent of respondents reported that they plan to host a barbecue or cook out for their friends and family on the 4th of July. Planning ahead and making a few changes to your typical 4th of July routine can help you host a dog-friendly barbecue that is sure to be a hit with humans and dogs alike!

To make your barbecue or cookout extra dog-friendly, you can plan a special K-9 only menu. A few suggestions of food you can include are:

  • Grilled chicken or turkey (no bones!): Make sure it’s plain, without any seasoning or sauces.
  • Grilled Veggies (no skewers!): Grill dog-safe veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fruit salad: A mix of dog-friendly fruits like apples, blueberries, and watermelon.

Tips for a Dog-Friendly BBQ

  • Avoid feeding dogs from the grill: Many human foods, especially those with seasonings, onions, garlic, or bones, can be harmful to dogs. Make sure any food that the dogs eat is made specifically for them and is seasoning-free. 
  • Make sure all canine guests are well socialized: Ensuring that all dogs invited to your BBQ are socialized and play well with others will not only keep your dogs safe, but also allow them to have some fun and burn off some energy.
  • Supervise playtime: Keep an eye on the dogs to prevent any rough play or potential fights.
  • Watch your food and utensils: If you’re not paying attention, it can be easy for a dog to eat something it’s not supposed to or get a hold of something dangerous like a corn cob or a skewer. Keep a close eye on your food preparation and serving areas to keep the party as safe as possible!
  • Provide a quiet retreat: Some dogs may become overwhelmed with the excitement, so ensure there’s a quiet area where they can retreat and relax, especially if you plan to have a large crowd.

Putting Our Pets at The Center of the Celebration

The 4th of July can be a fun and memorable holiday for both you and your dog with a little extra planning and consideration. Whether you choose to cool off with a swim, enjoy a frozen treat, explore the great outdoors, or host a dog-friendly BBQ, there are plenty of ways to include your furry friend in the celebrations.

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  • Dog Activities and Fun