The best ways to maximize your July 4th experience

Tips and tricks for a perfect Independence Day

6 minute read

A bulldog wearing a red life jacket rides at the front of a kayak on a lake with a paddleboarder in the background

Get ready to paint the town red, white, and blue because Independence Day is just around the corner, and we're all set to celebrate in style! July 4 is a special day for all of us and we can’t wait to get in the spirit. We're gearing up to make this Fourth of July an unforgettable experience, filled with fun, food, and festivities. 

There are a million ways you can spend this festive day with your favorite people, but how do you make the most of all of the fun opportunities July 4 has in store? Perfection takes planning and preparation, which can be an overwhelming task. How do you make the Fourth of July fun live up to the hype? Here's where to begin. 


Are you having a bunch of people over to celebrate our nation’s independence and don’t know how to “wow” them? Here are some fun-filled activities that will get people outside and smiling.

Patriotic picnicking. There’s an art to picnicking that everyone has the opportunity to master. The trick is to find the perfect spot to spend time with your furry and human friends. Finding the right ratio of shade to shine is important. Are you looking to soak up the sun or feel a cool breeze in the shade? When you find it, set up camp with a comfortable blanket or find a quiet bench or table. Pack an array of snacks ranging from sweet to salty to cover all the bases. Bringing a portable speaker to play some spirited patriotic jams is a great way to keep the vibes going on a sunny afternoon.

BBQ bash. Lighting up the grill with your favorite tunes on the radio and a yard full of friends and family is the perfect way to ignite your patriotic spirit. There’s a boundless amount of delicious foods to cook up on a hot summer’s day. From mushroom burgers to corn-on-the-cob, it’s time to get sizzling!

S’more festivities coming your way. Gathering around the fire pit to roast marshmallows and swapt ghost stories is a great way to bond with your friends in a comfortable outdoor setting. Set up a campfire in your own backyard and bask in the warmth and comradery.

Listen to the red, white, and blues. Nothing brings the community together like a performance by a local band on a day that celebrates unity and freedom. Venture down to a local park and see what’s in store. Often, towns of all sizes set up celebrations with live music to get you in the spirit and sing the blues!

Football fun. Partake in a game of America’s most beloved sport by tossing a football around with your neighbors. Football is a tradition dating back to the 1870s when Harvard and Yale decided to take a classic British sport (Rugby) and put their own twist on it. This American staple has lasted nearly two centuries and is a great way to get the blood flowing and the heart rate up while having a blast. And if you’re not a fan of running around, toss a ball for your furry friend and watch them enjoy this fun-filled tradition.

Hike to freedom. Embrace the beautiful scenery this country has to offer by taking a serene nature hike through the wilderness. Find a local trail or travel to an out-of-town park to experience nature in its full glory.

Get crafty with it. Stretch your artsy muscles by creating this DIY dog toy with only a few old, unused T-shirts. Incorporate some festive spirit by using red, white, and blue shirts to create the perfect July 4 tug-of-war toy for your patriotic pup!

Water works. Nothing says summer fun like a dip in the pool or lake. Water games are fun for all ages and provide a cool, relaxing addition to your Fourth of July festivities. From sprinklers to Slip-N-Slides, there’s so much fun to be had. And don’t forget to let your canine friend get in on the fun! If you’ve got a pup who loves to splash around, try out a Sprinkler Splash Pad, designed specifically to get your pup’s tail wet and wagging or take them out on the kayak sporting a doggie life preserver for safety.

The silver screen. Delving into a cinematic world while being surrounded by fresh air and friends is a great way to spend the night. Throw on your favorite patriotic movie and set up an at-home projector against a flat surface outside to enjoy the thrills of a good movie night.


As much as we value fun, safety is always the priority. There’s a lot going on during this festive day; fireworks, bonfires, running, dancing, grilling, and so much more. It’s important to stay vigilant and aware of the dangers that might turn up for our pet pals.

Noise awareness. The Fourth of July is one of the loudest days of the year, with fireworks, music, playful shouting, and sparklers. Our pets may be sensitive to these noises. Dogs can hear four times better than humans can, so it’s important to understand that your pet may not be having as much fun as you are listening to these festive sounds.

For dogs with intense anxiety and sensitivity to loud noises, you can try putting them in a ThunderShirt, an effective tool designed to wrap gently around your pup and allow them to feel more secure. Also, keeping your pets inside and as far away from the noise as they can get, may help calm them down. If there’s a specific place in the home where they feel especially safe, maybe sit them down with a treat and their favorite toy in that spot until the noises subside. An additional trick is to play some calming white noise for your pup to soothe their earbuds and relax them further.

Loud noises tend to spook some animals, causing them to run. It’s important to make sure all doors are fully closed to prevent a scared animal from accidently escaping the home and getting lost. In the event that your pup does slip out the door, prepare them by checking that their ID tag is up to date so they can be returned home safely.

If you’re especially worried about your pup, it’s a good idea to take them for a walk before the fireworks start to get their energy out so they’ll be more relaxed come night time.

Another tool you can use to prepare them for the loud noises is to expose them to the firework sounds ahead of time. Play some loud firework noises on a phone or computer to see how they react and then comfort them to let them know it’s okay.

Food vs. Poison. It’s easy to get swept up in all of the delicious food that’s offered on this special day, but what’s a palate cleanser for us, may hurt our pets. We’ve compiled a list of some foods you might have floating around your house on July 4 that should be kept far away from our curious animals.

  • Alcohol
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Peanut butter containing Xylitol
  • Macadamia nuts and walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Chives
  • Seeds or pits from fruit
  • Gum
  • Mushroom plants

Bugs, flies, and pests oh my! We understand that immersing ourselves in nature during the summer months means opening ourselves up to all of the creepy crawlers, fliers, and biters of the insect world. Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid these pesky creatures.

Wondercide offers plant powered protection from bugs like mosquitoes, ticks and fleas and the products are lab proven to work so you can protect yourself, your family, your pets, and yard without worry. The Flea & Tick spray for pets and Insect Repellent for people come in four fresh scents that make any day more festive: peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, and lemongrass.

Fire safety. Between at-home fireworks, sparklers, candles, and campfires, it’s important to keep all curious furry creatures away from the flames. It’s a good idea to keep water on standby, whether in a bucket or a hose to ensure that there’s a way to defuse any rambunctious flames. Keeping things like alcohol near an open flame also increases the risk of accidentally igniting a fire more than you might have intended.

Preparing your home

DIY decorations. Unlock your creativity by decorating your house with imaginative homemade crafts. From simple utensil holders made from red, white, and blue painted coffee cans to more complex homemade lights made with colored yarn and holiday lights, there’s a craft out there for everyone. There’s no need to run to the store and buy a bunch of items you can only use for one occasion when you can take household scraps and turn them into the perfect party decorations.

Bugging out. Now that you’ve armed your family and pets with spray, it’s time to shield your party guests from any unwanted critters when they come over. Wondercide’s Outdoor Pest Control for yard will help ward away mosquitoes, ticks, ants, and more without damaging your lawn, plus the residue is safe for the good bugs like bees and butterflies.

If the party has to move inside because of rain, it’s a good idea to protect the inside of your home so your guests don’t have to make awkward small talk with an insect. Wondercide’s Indoor Pest Control and Ant and Roach spray work in indoor spaces to help control the bug situation.

Food for every mood

Cooking for this special day may seem daunting. However, there are plenty of helpful delicious recipes to get the ball rolling. Below are just a few irresistible recipes to impress your party guests.

Vegan Kebabs:

  • Throw some chunks of mushroom, peach, courgettes and red onions on a skewer and grill them until they reach a desired charring.
  • Serve with a dressing of your choosing, most commonly an avocado dressing.

Smoky corn and avocado salad:

  • Boil two cobs of sweet corn in some water for 5 minutes.
  • Barbeque a couple red bell peppers for about 10 minutes or until the skins are charred.
  • Grill the boiled cobs until charred and then shave off the corn into a bowl. Add in the diced grilled peppers, onions, tomatoes, avocado, lime and seasoning.
  • Mix and then serve with chips or slices of vegetables.

Hot and spicy sweet potatoes:

  • Peel two large sweet potatoes and cut them into thin slices.
  • Keep the slices together on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, thyme, and half of a chopped chili.
  • After you massage all of the flavors into the potatoes, finish it off by sprinkling the rest of the chopped chili overtop.
  • Wrap the foil around the potatoes and grill them for about 45 minutes.

For more great recipes perfect for guests and pets, check out Wondercide's collection in The Dish.

We hope these tips have inspired you with festive intentions and gotten you in the party mood. With a dash of creativity, a feast of delicious food, and a sprinkle of festive fun, we know you can make this Independence Day your most memorable one yet. Tap into your patriotic side and go all out this year while celebrating a day of freedom and unity. Let's come together to honor our country, appreciate the ones we love, and bask in the beauty of the great outdoors.