July 4th Safety Tips for Your Pets

a dog wearing sunglasses in front of a flag

Parties, fireworks, barbecues, and other 4th of July traditions can be great fun for people but for pets it can be scary and downright dangerous. Did you know that more pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other date? Fireworks and other noisy celebrations can scare pets causing them to run away. In addition, holiday foods and beverages can cause stomach upset, or even toxicity, and summer heat can be harmful.

By taking certain precautions, you can ensure your pet will have a happy and safe holiday.

In Advance:

    • Make sure your pets have identification tags with up to date information on them.
    • If your pet is microchipped, check that your contact information in the microchip registry is up to date.
    • If your pet isn’t microchipped, speak with your veterinarian about this valuable tool.
    • Take a current photo of your pet.
    • Secure your yard.

Safety During 4th of July Celebrations:

    • Leave your pets at home if you go to parties, firework celebrations, or parades.  Unfamiliar situations, crowds, and noises can scare pets increasing the risk of them running away.
    • Consider putting your pets in an escape proof room or crate during parties.  If this isn’t an option, place signs on gates to remind guests to secure gates after use.
    • Avoid feeding pets table scraps and ensure your guests don’t either.
    • Too much sun/heat can be dangerous for pets.  Keep them inside if it is extremely hot and humid.  Make sure there are shady areas for them and plenty of water.  Knowing the signs that a pet is overheating is important as well.
    • Keep glow sticks, sparklers, fireworks, and skewers away from pets. Decorations should also be out of reach for curious pets.

Safety During Fireworks:

    • Keep your pets inside.  Sudden, loud noises can easily frighten your pet, causing them to run away.
    • Provide a quiet place for your pet to help them feel secure.  Playing soothing music or putting a tv on can help muffle the sound fireworks. Closing curtains or blinds will help minimize the flashes.
    • Allow distractions such as toys or treats.  A kong toy stuffed with their favorite treat may help keep their mind busy and distract them from fireworks.
    • Walk your dog earlier in the day, before fireworks start.
    • As hard as it will be, do not reward anxious behavior with extra attention. Offering extra cuddles or soothing your pet will only reinforce their fear.
    • If your pet wants to hide, let them.

Safety After Celebrations:

    • Check your yard for any debris from fireworks before letting your pet outside.  Even if you didn’t set off fireworks, they can make their way into your yard.
    • Look out for any food scraps or other debris that could be harmful to your pet.

If your pet still becomes extremely anxious or afraid during these celebrations even with trying these suggestions, they may need special medication to help them relax.  Our veterinarians are happy to discuss your pet’s situation and tailor a treatment plan, specifically for them. Contact us today!