How can I protect my pet during the 4th of July?

Take a moment to consider your pets this Fourth of July. Unlike people, pets don't associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations. Pets are terrified of fireworks, and often panic at the loud whizzes and bangs they produce. The busiest day for animal shelters during the year is July 5th.


Both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and PAW have listed ways you can prevent your holiday celebration from turning into a tragedy. Here are some tips on how to keep your pet from panicking this Fourth of July weekend. 

  1. Keep your pets indoor
    Though most of us consider fireworks to be the highlight of the evening, many pets are terrified of them. The bright lights and loud noises can unnerve pets and frightened animals will often escape in order to get away. Runaway pets can become lost or get hit by a car. To keep your pets safe and stress-free during a fireworks display, be sure to keep them indoors, preferably in a secure and comfortable room. Give your pet his favorite toy or a new chew toy to keep him distracted. Turning on the TV or radio can also help drown out loud and scary noises outside. 
  2. Don't feed your pets "people" food
    The 4th of July is known for backyard BBQ's, but even delicious holiday food can be hazardous for your pets. Keep your pets away from hot BBQ grills that can easily burn them, especially if they are tempted by what's cooking on the grill. Animals should never have access to chocolate or alcohol. Bones, except for those specially treated and intended for canine consumption, should also be avoided. 
  3. Collars, identification tags and microchips
    All of your pets should have collars, identification tags and microchips, even indoor-only cats. A door or gate could be left open accidentally during 4th of July BBQ, or your pet could escape if he becomes frightened during a fireworks display. Collars, identification tags and microchips are the best way to ensure that if your pet gets lost, he will be returned to you. 
  4. Don't use sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet
    This tip applies to applying "people" sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet. What isn't toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. 
  5. Keep your pet away from Glow Jewelry
    It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, "excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers."

Show All Answers

1. How can I protect my pet during the 4th of July?
2. What does "safe and sane" mean?
3. What types of fireworks are illegal?
4. Are there really more injuries on the Fourth of July?
5. What happens if I break the law?
6. Where can I buy legal fireworks?
7. Where can I watch a professional fireworks show?