4th of July Fourth of July

Photo by: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society

Neighborhood Fireworks Spark Concern for Pet Safety

With the expected firework displays and festivities of 4th of July, pet owners know the holiday can be chaotic for their furry friends.

July 02, 2020

Best Friends Animal Society has a few pet safety tips to help ease your pets’ anxiety this holiday weekend.

What does COVID-19 have to do with fireworks and pets?

Photo by: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society

With communities across the country cancelling their celebrations to prevent crowds from gathering, some traditions – including the very loud ones – will be especially close to home. In the absence of planned events, fireworks vendors have reported a significant increase in sales this year. Celebrations will be more dispersed this year, which could lead to a lot of scattered neighborhood firework shows.

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.

In a normal year in the U.S., the July 4th weekend is one of the busiest shelter intake times of the year. However due to COVID-19 protocols, animal control agencies have their officers working on an “emergencies-only” basis. Many agencies have limited resources and are only picking up stray animals who are sick, injured, or already contained. Therefore, panicked pets spooked by fireworks, are at a higher risk of running loose for unknown periods of time.

Another byproduct of limited animal control operations is that concerned neighbors, who would otherwise take a found pet to a veterinary clinic or shelter, may have more difficulty accessing these services. Many shelters are entirely closed to the public, so for lost pets who do end up being taken in by animal control officers, owners will need to contact the shelter by phone or check their website to find out how they can look for and hopefully reunite with their lost pet.

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

Photo by: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society offers the following 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 the holiday, and a few days after.

  • Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room, close widows 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 dogs who are extremely anxious 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 your own 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 are wearing current identification tags, and make sure 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 own flyers with a good description and photo of the pet. Keep looking and don’t give up.

Everyone has been through a lot in this first half of 2020, so being kind and compassionate in addition to protecting our pets is a good way to celebrate a national holiday!

Next Up

Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell Welcome Fur Baby into Family

Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell rang in the new year with a new furry family member, a puppy named Piggy.

Virtual Pet Adoption is Here!

Online dating not your thing? Fair enough, but what about finding other love online?

Internet Cat Superstar Lil BUB Dead at Age 8

Lil BUB, the cat whose unique appearance spawned an internet empire, has passed away at age 8.

4 Reasons You Can't Miss the New Season of Crikey! It's the Irwins

The new season of CRIKEY! IT'S THE IRWINS will stream exclusively on discovery+ starting February 7!

Meet the Animals Who Survived the Tiger King

The all-new documentary special ‘SURVIVING JOE EXOTIC’ premieres July 25 at 10P ET/PT on Animal Planet and features one of Joe Exotic’s last formal interviews before his arrest.

Jackson Galaxy Returns for Animal Planet COVID-19 Special

Galaxy is faced with a whole new set of quarantine cat behaviors that test his skills against some of the most claw-some felines he has ever met. Watch a special MY CAT FROM HELL on Animal Planet July 11 at 10P ET.

Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Nnadi Tackled Shelter Adoption After His Super Bowl LIV Win

Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Nnadi had two things on his to do list this weekend - win Super Bowl LIV and help the good people of Kansas City adopt animals from the KC Pet Project.

Say Hello to What's New on discovery+ in January 2021

You can now stream the best of Discovery's real-life entertainment, including BBC's award-winning natural history collection on discovery+. Whatever you're into, you'll find it on the new streaming service.

What to LOVE in February on discovery+

February is the month to stream what you love on discovery+. Whatever you're into, from PUPPY BOWL to FINDING BIGFOOT to GOLD RUSH, you can find it streaming on the brand new streaming service. (Updated 2/10/21)

Dive into The Last Unknown with Nature Photographer and Conservationist Ian Shive

In a daring, high-seas adventure, award-winning photographer Ian Shive captures a series of wildlife spectacles including an active volcano, forgotten World War II relics and battles amongst species. The Last Unknown Streams Thursday, March 18 on discovery+.