How to Keep Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks
With the expected firework displays and festivities of the 4th of July, pet owners know the holiday can be chaotic for their furry friends.
Updated June 28, 2022
Best Friends Animal Society has a few pet safety tips to help ease your pets’ anxiety this holiday weekend.
Animals, especially dogs, can have a phobic reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds. Their reactions may show signs of extreme anxiety. Dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers, or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears.
For these reasons, it’s more important than ever that pet parents take precautions to keep their furry family members home, comfortable, and safe this weekend.
Not So Friendly Fire: Things to Keep in Mind For Your Pet
Best Friends Animal Society offers tips to help keep pets safe around July 4th. Keep in mind that in many areas, it’s legal to light fireworks a few days before, on holiday, and a few days after.
- Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room, close windows and curtains, and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds. Some experts even suggest playing a war movie to blend the sound from the TV with the sounds from outside.
- Plan ahead so that extremely anxious dogs can take a stress-relief supplement, wear a calming coat, or even use prescription anti-anxiety medications from a veterinarian.
- Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including in your backyard. Some pets will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.
- Ensure that pets wear current identification tags, and ensure your correct contact info is recorded with the vet clinic or shelter.
- Remember what to do if your pet does go missing over the holiday. Contact local animal shelters immediately and keep checking back. Also, check social media to see if someone nearby has posted about the lost pet. Walk the neighborhood to look for found pet flyers. Put up your flyers with a good description and photo of the pet. Keep looking and don’t give up.
With staffing shortages and decreased availability across the country, a second of planning will provide a lifetime of safety for your pets.
Dr. Erin Katribe, veterinarian and medical director of Best Friends Animal Society said, “The last thing you want is an emergency over a holiday when many veterinary clinics and shelters are closed or open only for limited hours. If you know your pets get severely anxious, discuss pharmaceutical options with your veterinarian in advance. Several medications to treat anxiety in pets are available.”
Dr. Katribe did note that all supplements and prescriptions must be in accordance with your pet's weight, age, and health issues, so coordinate with your pet's veterinarian.
Pet first aid kits can help treat minor injuries such as scrapes or cuts at home while more serious situations such as puncture wounds, burns, broken bones, eye injuries, or heat stroke require consulting with a veterinarian immediately.
Dr. Katribe noted that “If medical care is warranted, start by contacting your veterinarian’s office to see if they can take your pet for an emergency exam. If not, you may need to go to a 24/7 emergency facility, which your vet can refer you. I recommend that all pet owners find out the contact information of their local emergency clinic ahead of time so that it’s quickly within reach in those unexpected moments.”