Fireworks aren’t fun for everyone

Fourth of July fireworks are a blast for people, but they’re not much fun for pets.

Noisy fireworks can scare pets and cause them to run away. According to statistics, animal control officials across the country see a 30–60% increase in lost pets each year between July fourth and sixth. In fact, July fifth is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters.

And fireworks are only the most obvious danger the Fourth of July can pose for pets: holiday food and beverages are a potential health risk, and summer heat and travel can be hazardous, too.

As we head into the holiday, pet owners may ask their veterinarians for suggestions on how to keep their pets safe. So encourage your clients to follow these tips to make it a safe holiday for pets and people alike.

  • Make sure your pet’s collar has a tag with your phone number and that your pet has been microchipped with up-to-date contact information. In case your pet runs away, this will make reuniting easier.
  • When the fireworks start, keep pets confined indoors, in a windowless room if possible, and not in a crate. Animals have been known to leap through glass windows and even eat through crates, harming themselves, to get away from the noise of fireworks.
  • Consider administering an antianxiety medication to your pet prior to festivities involving fireworks. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.
  • If possible, stay with your pet during the fireworks. Your presence will soothe and reassure him, helping to keep stress low.
  • Keep your pet from foraging through leftover picnic foods in the backyard. Corncobs, ribs, hot dogs, and other picnic fare can cause gastrointestinal distress to animals.
  • Make sure gates stay closed in the yard. With holiday guests coming and going, it’s easy leave one open long enough for a pet to slip away unseen.
  • If multiple dogs from different households are present, monitor their play. Separate them as needed to avoid fights and injuries.
  • If the party is at someone else’s house, keep your pet at home and inside. It can also help to create white noise by turning on the TV or radio, which can distract your pet from fireworks noise and help keep him calm.

Pass on these tips to pet owners to help everyone have a happy Fourth of July!

Photo credit: © iStock/Kira-Yan

NEWStat Interesting/unusual