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4th of July Pet Safety

As you look forward to this year's 4th of July festivities, take a few moments and prepare for your pet's 4th of July experience. Animals - especially dogs - have extremely sensitive hearing so while you may revel in the whir, hiss, boom, and shriek of fireworks, they can be terrifying and disorientating to your furry friend.

"It makes a lot of sense for animals to be afraid of loud, sudden noises. In the wilds, noise of this magnitude would be correlated with some real danger, like a landslide or tornado," says Janice Willard, DVM. "We may be able to understand that a fireworks display is just entertainment, but for our pets, the fear is very real and related to basic survival instincts."

So keep your pet(s) safe and sound by taking some simple precautions:

  • Never take your pet to a fireworks display. Don't leave them in the car either - they may break through the window if they panic, or they can overheat very quickly or be stolen. Leave Fido and Fluffy at home where they will be safest and feel most secure.
  • Never leave your pet outside on the 4th of July. Your pet may try to dig under a fence or to jump over and can become dangerously entangled in a chain.
  • Lock your pet inside the house, preferably in a quiet, secluded room (such as the basement). Close the blinds or curtains to block out the flash from fireworks, clear the room of anything your pet may shred or destroy, and make sure he or she cannot escape. Be prepared for your pet to defecate or urinate on the floor or furniture if he or she becomes frightened.
  • Turn on a fan and/or the TV or radio to a calm station or channel and at a moderate level. This will help muffle some of the noise from the fireworks and will also help to keep him or her calm.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing current identification tags. If your pet does become lost, this will ensure he or she is returned to you as quickly as possible. Consider getting your pet a microchip identification implant, which is placed just below the skin so it cannot fall off.

If your pet does become lost, visit local animal shelters as soon as possible and canvas your neighborhood with "lost pet" flyers that feature an up-to-date picture of your pet, any distinguishing characteristics, when and where your pet disappeared and your contact information. And if you happen to find a lost pet, take it to the local animal shelter immediately and place "found" ads around your neighborhood and in your local newspaper.



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