Safe and Sound: 4th of July Pet Safety

As you make plans to enjoy a return to more normal Fourth of July celebrations this year, keep pet safety in mind as an important part of your happy holiday.

Many national and community celebrations will follow the lead of the White House and involve cookouts, large gatherings and fireworks displays – marking the country’s effective return to normalcy after 16 months of coronavirus pandemic disruption, according to the Associated Press. And while it will be exciting to reunite and celebrate with friends and family after so much time apart, remember that not all Independence Day traditions are safe for our pets.

Did you know that more dogs go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year? The noise from fireworks can scare animals and cause them to panic, which leads to many cases of runaways. Other problems can come from ingesting foods, trash or fireworks debris that is left out and accessible to pets. Whether you’re planning to host a party or will be away from home for the day, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be sure your dog’s ID tags are secure and his microchip information is up to date.
  • Take a new picture of each one of your pets just in case they wander off.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day, before things get too hectic. Being tired from a good walk or run will help curb high-anxiety behaviors later on in the day.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet and remind guests not to feed them from the table. Set out a bowl of dog treats, instead, for guests who want to treat your pets.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, and fireworks (and the trash they leave behind) away from your pets.
  • Watch for doors and gates that could be left open on accident.
  • Leave your dog at home, inside, while you attend fireworks displays.
  • If your dog is anxious, put him in a safe place such as his crate or a small room without windows. Provide a favorite toy, fresh water, and some music or white noise.

However you plan to spend the holiday, keep these safety tips in mind to help your pets be comfortable and secure while you’re celebrating the freedoms of our great nation.