Pets and 4th of July Fireworks: How to Calm Frightened Dogs and Cats, Safety Tips for Owners

From watching fireworks to grilling outside, not all of the things we humans enjoy on the 4th of July are necessarily so fun for our four-legged friends.

While you might want to invite Rocky and Bailey over to join the festivities, check out these tips before making a decision.

Loud noises and large crowds can be scary for animals, so fireworks aren’t really their thing. According to the American Humane Society, July 5 is the busiest day of the year for most shelters.

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Tracy Elliott, president and CEO of the Anti-Cruelty Society, suggests using a microchip or making sure pets have ID because most pets get lost that time. Elliott also suggested creating a safe space for pets to help them feel comfortable when they hear loud noises.

  • Get your pets inside well before it gets dark. Even outdoor cats need to be brought indoors for the night. Make sure they are away from loud noises and flashes of light when indoors.
  • If you know your pets are startled by loud noises, have someone stay home with them if you end up leaving the house to celebrate the holidays.
  • Close your house. Scared animals are great escape artists and will find a way out.
  • To dampen the startling boom of the fireworks, leave the TV or radio on for background noise.
  • Make sure your pets have identification tags and, if microchipped, that the information is up to date.
  • Contact a veterinarian before the holidays if you think your pets need to be tranquilized
  • If you lose your pet, don’t wait to start looking. Knock on doors, call your local shelter and check out Craigslist.

Fireworks aren’t the only issue pet owners should consider. Keep an eye on your furry friends all day.

  • Do not leave alcoholic beverages where animals can reach them. Pets also get drunk and it’s not fun or safe for them.
  • Keep matches, lighter fluid and citronella products out of reach. All contain chemicals that can be dangerous to pets.
  • Light-up jewelry can be fun for after-dark festivities, but it doesn’t mix well with pets. The glow chemicals can cause gastrointestinal irritation, and you don’t want them eating the plastic tubing and connectors either.

Check out more 4th of July safety tips from the ASPCA.

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