Fourth of July Pet Safety

Fireworks and loud noises can be scary for pets

Cookouts, sparklers, fireworks and other Fourth of July traditions are a summer fun staple for many people; but all of this excitement and noise can be scary and dangerous for animals.  The loud boom of fireworks and sizzle of sparklers can scare animals causing them to become stressed.  Many animals run away on the Fourth of July due to becoming scared and disoriented.

In addition to the dangers of fireworks for your pets, the high summer heat and tasty foods can also pose dangers.  It’s important to make sure that your pets do not have access to the food and alcohol that might be at your gathering.
There are some things that you can do in advance to help prepare. Being prepared in advance can make the day less stressful for you, and your pets! 
  • Make sure your pet has up to date identification tags with a phone number that you can be reached at.  (for horses you can use a sharpie to write your number on a cow tag and tie it into their mane)
  •  If your pet is microchipped make sure that your contact information is up to date in the registry.  If your pet is not already microchipped now would be a good time to get that done
  • If your pet has a history of becoming anxious during fireworks or thunderstorms speak with your veterinarian about possible medications you could get for them.
  • Get up to date pictures of all of your pets with their current haircuts.  Dogs can look very different when they have recently had a trim compared to having long hair.
  • Check that all fencing is in good condition.  This includes walking your horse pastures to make sure all fence boards are looking good.  For your pets at home make sure that there are no escape holes along the fence and that the gate is securely latched.  These are good things to check on a regular basis!
There are also things you can do to ensure the safety of your pets during the Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Take your dogs out for a short walk in the morning before any of the excitement starts
  • Leave your pets at home in a safe space.  Large crowds, and loud fireworks can be very scary for your pets.  If you are having guests over to your house make sure that your pets are secure and can’t run out the door when people are coming in and out
  • Keep your horses in a pasture with safe fencing or inside of the barn.  It is good to talk with your vet and see what they recommend for your horses based off of your location and proximity to fireworks.
  • White noise machines and fans can be helpful to drown out the noise of the celebrations and fireworks.
  • If you are taking your dog out for a walk and worried that celebrations in your neighborhood have already started you can be a little more secure by using two leashes, one on the collar and one on a harness.
Following the celebrations it’s important to check your yards and pastures for debris as well as ensure there was no damage to your fencing to ensure your animals are safe before you let them back outside.
Here are additional Fourth of July safety measures from the American Veterinary Medical Association